English Football League clubs will be allowed to wear ‘away’ and alternative home kits next season to help color blind players, staff, officials and fans distinguish between teams.
- EFL clubs will now be able to wear away, third and alternate kits to home games to help color blinders differentiate between teams
- The move has been welcomed by colorblind advocacy groups and is gaining traction in other leagues and codes.
- The EFL also enforced stricter rules for club owners and managers, while extending the substitution rule from three to five per game.
The EFL adopted the amendment at its annual general meeting on Friday. The change means teams have more flexibility when choosing match kits to avoid clashes that can be problematic.
Previously, clubs were required to wear designated ‘home’ and ‘away’ kits for particular matches, whether or not they were similar to an opponent’s kit, with the exception of one per season to host commemorative or charitable bands.
The most recent example of the clash was in the two legs of Sheffield Wednesday’s promotion play-off against Sunderland in League One, where both clubs wore black shorts, dark socks and a vertically striped shirt, the only difference major being this jersey. had red stripes while the other had blue.
The EFL said it would “play a more active role in helping clubs identify where potential colorblind kit conflict could arise” and give the respective teams sufficient notice to arrange an alternative, which could include the choice of different combinations of jerseys, shorts and socks. to ensure that people with color blindness can differentiate between teams.
Color blindness affects approximately one in 12 men and one in 200 women, with the most commonly affected colors being red and green.
Color Blind Awareness CEO Kathryn Albany-Ward welcomed the news, telling the Guardian: “We know that statistically at least one player on every men’s team is color blind, and these rule changes will also make some relationships easier for those players. , thus improving overall team performance.
The move comes as more clubs and leagues around the world adjust their kit rules to make the sport more accessible to people with color blindness.
Italy’s Serie A will ban teams from wearing all-green kits from next season, while World Rugby last year announced plans to stop Wales and Ireland from wearing predominantly red kits and greens at the 2027 World Cup.
It’s unclear whether the Premier League will follow suit, but its regulations recommend clubs wear kits that provide appropriate contrast.
Other rule changes at the EFL AGM included an increase in the number of substitutes allowed per match from three to five players, while the league added additional conditions in the test of its owners and administrators, disqualifying people convicted of a hate crime.