Why are England and the USMNT allowed to wear blue at a World Cup match?

England and the United States will meet on the field in the 2022 World Cup on Friday – but it can be a little hard to tell them apart.

Historically, red, white and blue have both had their primary colours, leading to a potential clash.

With the England designated home team, this led to some problems…

the athlete Explains how we got to this situation.


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Every question you’re afraid to ask at the World Cup

What will each team wear?

England is the home team, so you need to pick the group. According to the Football Association, their home kit is white with “fury blue” on the shoulders.

Normally, the away team is allowed to wear their home kit. However, since the home kit in the United States is also predominantly white, they are not allowed to wear it due to a kit clash.

Instead, they’ll wear their navy blue kit, which includes a black tie pattern. This is where a potential group showdown arises, with both teams’ blue jerseys prominently featured.

The England red jersey does not enter into this, as they are the designated home team.

What are the FIFA jersey rules?

FIFA being FIFA, there are a lot of details in the rulebook, very few that clearly answer the problem.

Sections 27.1 and 27.2 state: “The display of political, religious or personal messages or slogans of any kind whatsoever in any language or form by players and officials on playing or team kits or equipment (including kit bags, drink containers, medical bags, etc.) ..) or the body is forbidden.

Similar display of commercial messages and slogans of any kind in any language or form by players and officials while they are engaged in any official activity regulated by FIFA is not permitted.

“Each team must report to FIFA two different, contrasting colors for both the (official) and substitute (alternate) team playing kit items (shirt, shorts and socks). In addition, each team must choose three contrasting colors for its goalkeepers. These three goals are different and contradictory to each other as well as to the alternative and first-choice groups of play.

“Such information must be submitted online through the team color form by the stated deadline. Only these colours, once reviewed and approved by FIFA as stated in Art. 28 par. 3 below, may be worn during matches.”

How does FIFA decide which kit to wear?

So, the process works in the following manner. FIFA tells the participating parties which kit they will wear in the group stages approximately two months before the start of the competition.

The organization states that it wants each team to wear their favorite colors “as often as possible”. However, in the event of a clash, FIFA determines the following order of priority:

  1. Home play kit
  2. Play away kit
  3. Home goalkeeper kit
  4. Goalkeeper kit
  5. Referee kit

If this does not result in adequate color differentiation, the process is repeated in reverse order.

FIFA tries to ensure that each team wears its home kit at least once during the group stages, and will consider color blindness in any group clashes.

So, why is this allowed?

Effectively, several officials looked at the comparison between England’s home kit and the US away kit, and decided there was no clash.

The referee and match director get the chance to review the kits, while the teams also get the chance to pre-approve.

If there were concerns about a tie, the process would start in reverse order, likely ending in England being forced into the away red kit despite being the home team.


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Radar – FIFA World Cup 2022 scouting guide for Athletic

(Photo: Getty Images)


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