We can see the football players wearing half trousers all over the world during playing.

Is it allowed for a football player(including goal-keeper)to wear long shorts(below the knee like the image below) in international football matches?

enter image description here

Shorts above the knee are more comfortable for them but, what is the rules of football say about this?

4 Answers 4


As already stated, Law 4 of the "Laws of the Game" states that shorts are compulsory.

However, FIFA's supplemental document "Equipment Regulations" elaborates on Law 4 stating:

3.1 ... the basic compulsory Equipment of a Player comprises the following separate Equipment items: ... b) shorts (for goalkeeper, shorts or tracksuit trousers);

In addition to this, there are a myriad different rules and guidelines for shorts, relating to numbering, manufacturer's logo and team badge but nothing specifying the length of the shorts.

To that end: Shorts below the knee are permitted.

However, I doubt we'll be seeing them any time soon because, from personal experience, the extra fabric inhibits the movement of the knee joint. This makes longer shorts impractical, which is likely why FIFA doesn't need to mention them.


Law 4 - the players' equipments Click Next to see

Basic equipment

The basic compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items:

  • a jersey or shirt with sleeves - if undergarments are worn, the colour of the sleeve must be the same main colour as the sleeve of the jersey or shirt
  • shorts - if undershorts or tights are worn, they must be of the same main colour as the shorts
  • stockings- if tape or similar material is applied externally it must be the same colour as that part of the stocking it is applied to
  • shinguards
  • footwear

So trousers are not allowed in football.

Regarding shorts below knee: there was a rule for that (players' knickerbockers must cover their knees) in 19th century. Which was removed in earlier 20th century

  • sorry for my poor english, see my edited question Apr 29, 2013 at 9:12
  • @SportsFan - Actually there was a rule for that in 19th century. Which was removed in earlier 20th century
    – Himanshu
    Apr 29, 2013 at 10:44
  • pls, add the required data from that link to your answer. Apr 30, 2013 at 6:13
  • nice, so what's ur conclusion for "is it allowed to wear shorts below the knee?" Apr 30, 2013 at 7:05
  • @SportsFan - The given link doesn't conclude that it is allowed or not that's why I didn't edit my answer with that link :). Still searching for any reference.
    – Himanshu
    Apr 30, 2013 at 8:00

I am not aware of any specific rule but Gábor Király is famous for playing in tracksuit bottoms. It appears that he is wearing them in this international match.

Hungary vs Finland in a European Championship qualifier.

So it must be allowed.


Rene Higuana (The guy who does the scorpion kick) is another famous guy to wear long pants. He was wearing them Columbia vs England

  • If you have any link regarding this please include it in your answer.
    – Himanshu
    Sep 7, 2013 at 7:52

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