Serie A green kit rule change “will do nothing to help color blind players or fans”

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Serie A’s decision to ban green-colored jerseys will not solve any problems faced by players or fans who are color blind, according to the UK-based nonprofit Color Blind Awareness.

Last week, Italy’s top flight took the unprecedented step of banning clubs from playing in predominantly green kits from the start of the 2022-2023 season. Sassuolo will still be able to play in his traditional green and black stripes, as the dominant color of his shirt is black.

The move, spurred on by Serie A broadcasters, was made amid fears that players would blend into the grass and cause a distortion effect with digital billboards dotted around the perimeter of the pitch and advertisements. and graphics added to the live stream during matches by TV producers.

Initially, there were suggestions that part of the reason was to make it easier for colorblind fans to distinguish opposing teams and officials from each other, but as Kathryn Albany-Ward, Founder of Color Blind Awareness, recounts. , I it will have no impact for supporters with Color Vision Deficiency (CVD).

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“It has nothing to do with color blindness as far as we’re concerned because it looks like it will solve the problems for color blind viewers when it doesn’t,” Albany-Ward said. “If you’re color blind, the grass and green shirts look slightly different than people with normal color vision, but it’s still a green kit on a green pitch, so you see the same nuances, there or so.

“There are so many issues for color blind players and fans that are not covered by this Green Kit rule change. It’s not really going to help color blind fans, so who is it helping? It’s great that we’re getting coverage for color blindness, but it has to be the right solution. “

Color blindness is thought to affect one in 12 men and one in 200 women in the world. Albany-Ward founded Color Blind Awareness in 2009 after discovering that his seven-year-old son struggled to distinguish kits of different colors when playing soccer.

In 2017, Color Blind Awareness contributed to a 40-page document on color blindness in football and how to better improve the match-watching experience for those affected, for the Football Association and UEFA.

The Premier League has also taken steps to make the game more inclusive. It has software specially designed to highlight possible clashes between teams and match officials, using a filter adapted to color blind. If a potential clash is reported, the Premier League will start a discussion with the clubs involved to find a solution.

In July 2020, Burnley wore a bespoke white kit for their game against West Ham, as their home, away and third kits would all clash with their opponents’ traditional burgundy and blue. Burnley has the same home colors as West Ham and their alternate kits in 2019-20 were sky blue and green.

Gradually, more and more people in the sport are helping to highlight the issues faced by color blind players and fans. Borussia Dortmund and Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney revealed he was color blind on the eve of the 2018 World Cup, while Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes pledged his support for the Tackling Color Blindness In Sport funded program. ‘EU last year.

“Euros were really good for people with color blindness,” says Albany-Ward. “A lot of national teams were playing in kits away and it was because of color blindness and they were trying to avoid kit clashes, so it’s a huge step forward from Euro 2016.

“Notoriety is much higher in football now than it was, but there is still a long way to go.”

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