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Match officials need to be aware that to a Sikh, touching their head covering (patka or turban) without their permission is an offensive act (as it is a religious article of faith) and should this occur and seen by the match official it should be considered a red card offence. Patkas are often tied at the back and, if this is pulled or touched in an improper manner, regardless of any potential reaction, it is an offence classified as S6 using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or action(s), and the offender must be dismissed.

Please be sensitive to the specific nature of this type of incident and deal with it appropriately.  In addition to any disciplinary action taken, an Extraordinary Incident Report should be submitted.

Should a referee require clarification as to whether a headscarf worn by a player is a religious article of faith, we would advise the match official to speak to the individual prior to the match.

The FA will consider further guidance relating to other forms of religious headwear worn by other participants in the game.

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