A growing number of prominent Chinese players are getting tattoos, including veteran international defender Zhang Linpeng, who has previously been asked to cover up when he appeared for both the national team and club Guangzhou FC.
The General Administration of Sports of China (GAS) said in a statement titled “Suggestions for Strengthening the Management of Soccer Players” that the China Soccer Association will establish disciplinary requirements for players of the national team.
“National teams at all levels will strictly apply the relevant requirements of management measures … (and) fully demonstrate the positive spirit of Chinese soccer players and set a good example for society,” he said. .
“The national team and the U23 national team athletes are strictly prohibited from getting new tattoos, and those who already have tattoos are advised to remove them themselves.
“If there are special circumstances agreed upon by the team, (the players) must cover the tattoos during training and games.”
He also said that for teams at the U20 level and below, the recruitment of tattooed players was “strictly prohibited”.
The GAS added that the national teams should organize “ideological and political education activities” which “would strengthen the patriotic education” of the players.
This “would strengthen the sense of mission, responsibility and honor, and create a national team capable of conquering and fighting well and with an excellent style of play,” he added.
The Chinese national team have failed to advance to the World Cup finals since their first appearance in 2002 and are set to miss Qatar 2022 as they sit fifth in their six-team qualifying group after six games.
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