China cracks down on national soccer players having tattoos to 'set a good example for society'

China is set to miss out on 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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The Chinese government is cracking down on its national soccer team players having tattoos.

China’s General Administration of Sport (GAS) advised players who had tattoos to remove any of the ones they currently have with new players being strictly prohibited from getting any kind of ink on their bodies, according to the BBC.

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Members of China PR celebrate scoring their first goal during the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier final round Group B match between China and Vietnam at Sharjah Stadium on Oct. 7, 2021, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Members of China PR celebrate scoring their first goal during the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier final round Group B match between China and Vietnam at Sharjah Stadium on Oct. 7, 2021, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Christopher Pike/Getty Images)

"National teams at all levels will strictly implement the relevant requirements of the management measures ... (and) fully demonstrate the positive spirit of Chinese football players and set a good example for society," the GAS said.

"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.

Zhang Linpeng tackles Awer Mabil during Australia v. China PR - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at Khalifa International Stadium on Sept. 2, 2021, in Doha, Qatar.

Zhang Linpeng tackles Awer Mabil during Australia v. China PR - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at Khalifa International Stadium on Sept. 2, 2021, in Doha, Qatar. (Simon Holmes/Getty Images)

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

Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou Evergrande looks on during the AFC Champions League match between Guangzhou Evergrande and Kashima Antlers at Tianhe Stadium on Aug. 28, 2019, in Guangzhou, China. 

Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou Evergrande looks on during the AFC Champions League match between Guangzhou Evergrande and Kashima Antlers at Tianhe Stadium on Aug. 28, 2019, in Guangzhou, China.  (Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

The organization also advised national teams to organize "ideological and political education activities" to "strengthen the patriotic education" of players.

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The Chinese men’s national team is hardly one of the top soccer squads in the world. China is ranked No. 74 in the FIFA standings and is set to miss out on the Qatar World Cup next year. Its highest ranking ever was 37th and that was in 1998.