Was It Legal For Said Benrahma To Play Without Shin Pads? Here’s What We Know

In modern-day football, certain footballers have these peculiar customs and things they like to follow.

Superstition is quite the thing about footballers. Cristiano Ronaldo has this habit of always entering a football field with his right foot, believing it brings him luck.

Some footballers like to wear ankle-length socks. Some like to cover it right up to their knee length.

But despite some superstitions not irking the FIFA rules, there are some regulations that have to be followed by every player – irrespective of their reputation and popularity.

Steven Gerrard touching the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign in the tunnel.

The modern-day football rule book is too packed to really decipher into one short paragraph.

There are lots of rules which have been set up for the betterment of the footballers themselves, meant to keep them safe and secure during matches.

West Ham United midfielder Said Benrahma got into a bit of a discreet controversy during his side’s loss to Liverpool on Wednesday night.

He didn’t start the game for the Hammers, instead only coming up in the 61st minute to bring more firepower to David Moyes’ attack for the last half-hour of the game.

He played until the end of the game, but some eagle-eyed fans noticed something surprisingly missing from his entire get-up.

Around the final minutes of the game, fans pinpointed that Benrahma was playing in the game without wearing any shinpads.

A shinpad is a protective device worn by footballers just under their knees to protect them from considerable damage when that part of the body clashes with the opposition players.

Not seeing Benrahma wearing a shinpad was confusing for many, with the fans even asking whether it was even a legal thing to do.

As it goes, it really isn’t. It’s mandatory, according to IFAB rules of the game, that every player in the Premier League should be wearing a shin guard at all times.

Here is what the rules state: “A player whose footwear or shinguard is lost accidentally must replace it as soon as possible and no later than when the ball next goes out of play; if before doing so the player plays the ball and/or scores a goal, the goal is awarded.”

The West Ham midfielder’s shin area was covered by socks, yet it appears that he either forgot to wear the shinpads before coming on or just took them off at some point.

While it’s still unclear if Benrahma was fined for the action, it’s surprising that this was allowed to happen in a top-level Premier League game.

Normally, it’s the job of the fourth official to check the shin guard and other protective equipment of the players that come on as substitutes – but it appears like the one in the Liverpool-West Ham game clearly didn’t get the memo.

One fan noted that this was not only against the rules but a poor thing to do as it sends the wrong message to the younger fans – who might feel that not wearing shinguards are a ‘cool thing to do’.