How colour blind people see football: Pictures show how shirts look to those with vision deficiency after Newcastle and Sunderland were caught in kit clash controversy

How colour blind people see football: Pictures show how shirts look to those with vision deficiency after Newcastle and Sunderland were caught in kit clash controversy
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Striking images of football uniforms, seen through the eyes of people with and without color blindness, illustrate the challenges many fans have in distinguishing between rival teams.

The photos from Color Blind Awareness show the game-destroying problems faced by people who are color blind, with one in 12 men and one in 200 women affected.

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Contrasting red and green football stripes appear indistinguishable to the eyes of people with the condition, while other vibrant colors are often reduced to muted shades of similar hues.

It follows the fury of the weekend, when a clash between Sunderland and Newcastle kits left thousands of colour-blind fans frustrated, while campaigners hit out at the Football Association.

The home side’s red and white striped jerseys versus the visitors’ black and white during Saturday’s FA Cup third round meant there was not enough contrast to allow the colour-blind crowd to distinguish between the two teams.

Remarkable footage from Color Blind Awareness shows the difficulties many affected fans have in distinguishing between football strips

1704893062 371 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893064 441 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

Colors such as red and green appear in contrast to colors with normal color vision (left), but are virtually indistinguishable for people with color blindness (right)

1704893066 420 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893068 990 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

Even for children playing football, distinguishing different colored strips (left) is a challenge for people with color blindness (right)

1704893069 790 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893071 422 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

A girl’s bright red soccer jersey (left) seems much harder for color blind people to distinguish from the field (right)

1704893074 826 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893076 811 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

Another simulation shows red and orange hues (left) appearing in olive green hues (right) for people with color blindness

1704893078 182 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893080 719 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

A clothing rack of hi-vis jackets in contrasting neon yellow and orange (left) all look the same color to those with the condition (right)

1704893082 801 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893083 283 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

A player in green tackling an opponent in red (left) almost appears to be on the same team to a color-blind viewer (right)

1704893085 125 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893087 441 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

A children’s five-aside contest in contrasting red and green (left) reappears in confusingly similar shades (right)

1704893090 555 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893092 849 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

Colors such as white and blue are much less affected by the condition, while shades of red, orange and pink change dramatically (right)

1704893094 842 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts
1704893095 154 How colour blind people see football Pictures show how shirts

Fans with color blindness not only have difficulty telling apart football strips, but may also have difficulty recognizing player signs and posts

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Fans on

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Kathryn Albany-Ward, founder of Color Blind Awareness, wrote a UEFA-backed paper on the issue for the FA and recently addressed a meeting of club secretaries from the Premier League, including Newcastle, in November.

“I wrote to the FA’s head of diversity, equality and inclusion after the Charlton v Cray Valley Paper Mills match which caused problems and got no response,” she explained.

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“I wrote to him (Yasir Mirza) again after Saturday’s match and initially heard nothing.”

After Mail Sport contacted the FA this morning, a response was sent this afternoon. “I was told there were ‘guidelines’ in the rules to advise clubs on the need to take colorblind people into account, but that is of little use if there are no sanctions – and there aren’t,” said Albany-Ward . added. “The responses are really disappointing and you have to wonder what it will take for the problem to be resolved.”

Two Premier League managers are believed to be colour-blind and it is likely that a number of top players are also affected given its prevalence.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has previously said he was ‘a bit colour-blind’, while ex-Manchester United interim Ralf Rangnick told Leipzig’s website that he suffers from red-green vision deficiency. Mail Sports columnist Chris Sutton announced this in the podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ that he had difficulty distinguishing between striped shirts during his playing career.

Color blindness campaigners have hit out at the Football Association after a clash between Sunderland and Newcastle's kits left thousands frustrated

Color blindness campaigners have hit out at the Football Association after a clash between Sunderland and Newcastle's kits left thousands frustrated

Color blindness campaigners have hit out at the Football Association after a clash between Sunderland and Newcastle’s kits left thousands frustrated

Sunderland's red and white striped kit was contrasted against the visitors' black and white jerseys, meaning there was insufficient contrast to allow the colour-blind crowd to tell them apart.

Sunderland's red and white striped kit was contrasted against the visitors' black and white jerseys, meaning there was insufficient contrast to allow the colour-blind crowd to tell them apart.

Sunderland’s red and white striped kit was contrasted against the visitors’ black and white jerseys, meaning there was not enough contrast to allow the colour-blind crowd to tell them apart

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“Clubs that do this are punishing themselves, let alone the public,” Albany-Ward added. ‘Such clashes will have consequences for their players and members of their own coaching staff. Do clubs not want to help their own players? The explanation I have had before is that some lower division clubs in the FA Cup cannot afford different kits if a clash occurs. This was a match between two big clubs and there were other alternatives available.”

Red and green are the most common colors that cause problems. Many have trouble seeing red and will have seen the match as a clash between two sides with black and white stripes. For others it would have been a match between two sides wearing white.

The problem appears to be improving in the Premier League, after a history of clashes. Manchester United recently wore white, instead of green, during their trip to Liverpool with those who are color blind in mind. A simple solution is for one side to wear a dark outfit and the other to opt for a light outfit.

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In 2021, Chelsea’s decision to wear light blue for a match at Sheffield United – instead of their traditional, darker blue – caused major problems. That jersey looked white to those with color vision deficiency, while the Blades’ red socks blended into the grass and were indistinguishable from Chelsea’s.

The Premier League has software designed to flag potential problems, although there were five clashes in the 2020/21 season.

UEFA regulations state that there must be ‘a clear contrast between the clothing of the first-choice and second-choice field players, insofar as these may be worn by the opponents during a match’, but there is no specific provision for clashes that could cause this. impact people with color blindness.

European matches between Arsenal (red) and Sporting CP (green) and Manchester United (red) and Real Betis (green) have also caused problems.

Red and green are the most common colors that cause problems for people who are color blind

Red and green are the most common colors that cause problems for people who are color blind

Red and green are the most common colors that cause problems for people who are color blind

Things are looking a little better in the top flight, with Manchester United recently wearing white, rather than green, on their trip to Liverpool with those who are colour-blind in mind

Things are looking a little better in the top flight, with Manchester United recently wearing white, rather than green, on their trip to Liverpool with those who are colour-blind in mind

Things are looking a little better in the top flight, with Manchester United recently wearing white, rather than green, on their trip to Liverpool with those who are colour-blind in mind

IT’S ALL GOING OFF!

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple music And Spotify.

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In the presentation made in November, Premier League clubs were told that with an average TV audience of 1.53 million people, there was a good chance that 91,800 viewers would be color blind. In a stadium with a capacity of 50,000, 3,000 would be affected.

The FA made no comment. If they receive information about potential clashes, it will be shared with the clubs for consideration. The guidelines state that kits should be “distinguishable in a manner that allows color blind individuals to distinguish between them.”

Newcastle and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport declined to comment. It is not thought this issue will fall under the remit of the next independent football regulator as their role will focus on financial matters. Sports Minister Stuart Andrew is colour-blind.

ITV also declined to comment, with insiders suggesting they have little say over kit choices. Sunderland declined to comment, although as the home team they are entitled to wear their first-choice kit.

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