Why do international football teams have no sponsorship on their shirts?

Sponsorship of International Football Teams

Many international football teams participating in international competitions are sponsored by various companies. For example the English national football team has been sponsored by Nationwide for an extended period of time.

However, the names of these sponsors are not seen on the front of the shirts worn by the players in international matches.

What is the purpose of this?

The reason for this is that the teams are not prohibited under the FIFA Regulations for the international tournament in which they are participating.

For example when international football teams are participating in an international tournament such as the World Cup they must adhere to the FIFA Regulations regarding the tournament.

Why would the FIFA Regulations state that there should be no sponsorship on the front of the shirts?

One of the reasons behind the notion of there being no sponsorship on the front of the international shirts is to protect the integrity of the competition in not having the names of sponsors all over the event. However, FIFA also has the requirement to protect the exclusivity of the official sponsors of the event which is clearly one of the reasons behind this requirement.

Does this just apply to the final stages of an international tournament such as the World Cup?

This does not simply apply to the final stages of an international tournament such as the World Cup. It will apply to the qualifying stages of the tournament as well as these matches are all considered part of the tournament and thus come under the regulations of FIFA.

This also applies to other international football tournaments such as the UEFA European Championships.

Does this apply to friendly matches that international teams participate in?

This does not necessarily extend to friendly international football matches as these matches are not subject to the rules and regulations of FIFA. Accordingly an international team could have sponsorship on the front of their shirt in these matches – this is something which has been seen by international teams such as Ireland.

However, it is not usual for international teams to do this.

Does the ban on sponsorship on the front of the shirts extend to the manufacturer of the shirt?

The prohibition of sponsorship on the front of international football shirts does not extend to the company with manufactures the kit which the players wear.

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For more information on:

  • Are there any restrictions on the sponsorship of domestic teams playing in the FA Premier League?
  • What restrictions are placed on the domestic teams and by whom?
  • What do these regulations state?
  • Title and Description
  • Sponsorship of International Football Teams