SPORT: Football
China prohibits players from getting tattoos.

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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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