The Chinese government is tough and forbids national soccer players from getting tattoos. In a statement by the national sports authority it says: “Players who have already been tattooed are advised to remove their tattoos themselves.” In addition, it is strictly forbidden for U20 national teams to nominate players with tattoos. So far, professionals have covered their tattoos with clothing or bandages. In addition, tattoos must always be pixelated when they are broadcast on television.
This is to ensure that players set a “positive example” for society. Actually, there has been a ban on tattoos since 2018. At that time, however, it was interpreted less strictly. Tattoos should simply not be visible. The measure was commented rather cynically on the Internet. One user said: “Now I’ve finally found the reason why Messi is not part of the Chinese national team.”