FA provides guidance to match officials on religious head coverings

Wednesday 25 Jan 2023

We have written to all match officials within our network across the English game to provide guidance on offences involving religious head coverings.
The guidance confirms that touching religious head coverings without an individual’s permission is an offensive act, given it is an article of faith. Therefore, if an incident of this nature occurs during a match and is seen by the match officials, it is to be considered a red card offence.
For instance, should a Sikh player have their patka or turban pulled or touched in an improper manner, the offender should be dismissed – regardless of reaction – as this would be deemed to be an offensive, insulting or abusive action under our rules and regulations. This applies to all religious head coverings.
Peter Elsworth, FA Head of Referee Operations, said: "We are determined to stamp out all forms of offensive and discriminatory behaviour from our game, and we have confirmed to our network of match officials that they should send off any player that deliberately touches a religious head covering of another player in an inappropriate way. Football is played and enjoyed by many communities across the country, and we want to do everything we can to ensure they are protected and supported at all times."
We continue to prioritise bringing faith communities and football closer together by celebrating important dates in the faith calendar. You can read more about our ongoing work in this area here.

By FA Staff