Indian National Team: Breach Of AFC Equipment Rule As India Don 'Panasonic' Jerseys Against Thailand

No rules...
Following the two month preparation camp in Portugal, the Indian national team headed straight to Bangkok to play an international friendly match against Thailand which they eventually lost by a 1-0 scoreline.

Interestingly, the two teams had their sponsor’s logo on their jerseys with India displaying the Panasonic brand while Thailand doing the same for Chang. It is reliably learnt that the team had a set of jerseys without the 'Panasonic' brand mentioned on the shirts as well.

Panasonic have been promised that their logo shall be displayed in front of the player’s jerseys during international matches and in the six such matches which the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has to organise in the country in each year of the three year agreement, this has to be delivered as well.


Indian National Team With Panasonic Jerseys

However, this rule is also subject to the specifications provided by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and FIFA, the world governing body for football.

The AFC Equipment clearly states that the sponsor’s logo must not be advertised on kit attire (the garments and articles worn or used in the Controlled Access Areas before, during and after a football match) which includes the shirt, shorts, socks, gloves, cap, glove bag, bottle, towel, underwear, thermal underwear, T-shirt, vest, sweatband, captain’s armband, shinguards, headband, support bandages, tracksuit, coat, stadium jacket, waterproof garments, sweatshirt, medical bag, bibs, ties, suits, any other items worn on the person or kit used, luggage, etc.

”For all matches between national teams at all age categories, whether friendly matches or part of a Final or Preliminary Competition (see Appendix C) played under the auspices of AFC, all forms of advertising for sponsors or third parties, or political or religious statements or other announcements are prohibited on all kit items (see Appendix A) inside the stadium and other Controlled Access Areas as defined in the Competition regulations.“

Even in the Confederations Cup organised by FIFA last year, the equipment regulations specifically mention that no commercial, religious or political messages must be publicized and one must recall that Kaka and Lucio of Brazil were warned following their religious message after they won the tournament.

“Players and officials are not allowed to display any religious, political, commercial or personal messages in any language or form on their playing or team kits, equipment (including kit bags, beverage containers, medical bags, etc.) or body for the duration of their time in the stadiums, training grounds or any other areas where accreditation is required to gain access. Any violations shall be reported to FIFA Disciplinary Committee for the necessary sanctions to be imposed in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.”


Clueless

When Goal.com contacted the AIFF on this issue, there was no reply provided with more than 48 hours since the questions were raised in spite of an assurance over the same.

Apparently, it is believed that Sukhvinder Singh, the marketing consultant along with the team manager Pradeep Chowdhury attended the manager’s meeting where the concerned match commissioner was fine with the two teams using their sponsor’s logo on the shirts, according to the rumoured version of the AIFF!


Can Anyone See Sponsor's Logo?!

It was even claimed by sources in the AIFF that they were informed of Thailand using the sponsor’s logo on their shirts in the friendly against Singapore last month, which is so to say a pure make-believe given that the jerseys didn’t have any sponsor’s logo on their blue attire!

Considering the breach of rules, one must wonder whether people with technical know-how attend the manager’s meeting and whether the game would be counted in as an official FIFA friendly.

If a Member Association violates any of these provisions, AFC may pronounce sanctions or take measures in accordance with the AFC Disciplinary Code.


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