Chinese footballers will need to undergo the painful process of having tattoos removed or risk being snubbed by the national team following a new order banning the body work.

The General Administration of Sport (GAS) has taken a step further than they did in 2018 when players were forced to cover up tattoos to continue playing.

In their latest move GAS have outlawed tattoos altogether and want any player with pre-existing tattoos to get them removed in order to ‘set a good example’ for Chinese society.

‘The national team and the U23 national team athletes are strictly prohibited from having new tattoos, and those who already have tattoos are advised to remove them themselves,’ the GAS statement said.

‘If there are special circumstances agreed by the team, (players) must cover up the tattoos during training and matches.’ 

China has previous in wading into the appearance of its players with a women’s football match in 2018 called off after players were told they were prohibited from playing with dyed hair.

China's General Administration of Sport has put a ban on footballers getting new tattoos

China's General Administration of Sport has put a ban on footballers getting new tattoos

China’s General Administration of Sport has put a ban on footballers getting new tattoos

The GAS have also called on existing inks to be removed as part of a new clean-up directive

The GAS have also called on existing inks to be removed as part of a new clean-up directive

The GAS have also called on existing inks to be removed as part of a new clean-up directive

Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou FC is known throughout Chinese football for his extensive ink.

But new rules look set to prove problematic for younger players with any fresh tattoos likely to result in expulsion from the national team. 

Players in the national team have previously been seen playing with tape covering any visible tattoo areas. 

Tattoos have become more mainstream in China but the new rules present problems to many, such as Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou FC (pictured)

Tattoos have become more mainstream in China but the new rules present problems to many, such as Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou FC (pictured)

Tattoos have become more mainstream in China but the new rules present problems to many, such as Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou FC (pictured) 

The GAS went on to add that China’s national teams, throughout age groups, should organise ‘ideological and political education activities’ that would ‘strengthen the patriotic education’ of its players

The statement is headed ‘Suggestions for strengthening the management of football players’.

It is anticipated that the Chinese FA will be charged with setting out disciplinary requirements for future national team call-ups.

Tattoos are a bone of contention in Chinese society

Tattoos are a bone of contention in Chinese society

Inked designs will need to be removed unless a player can show special circumstances

Inked designs will need to be removed unless a player can show special circumstances

Unless players can prove special circumstances they will be expected to have tattoos removed

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