UEFA Kit Color Blindness Simulation - Why Dark vs Light Is The Ideal

Have you ever wondered why FIFA and other football government organizations are so strict with the color of kit and the light / dark kit rule? This is not only for TV but also for color blind people.

As part of a campaign to maximise awareness and improve the experience of colour blind people in football, the English Football Association and UEFA have joined forces with the Colour Blind Awareness organisation to produce a guide booklet.

One in 12 men (8%) inherit red/green colour blindness

What Is Colour Blindness?

Colour blindness is the inability to perceive colours normally. It is one of the world’s most common genetic conditions. However, colour blindness is under-recognised and poorly understood.

How Likely Is It To Be Colour Blind?

Approximately one in 12 men (8%) inherit red/green colour blindness but only 1 in 200 (0.5%) of women do. Colour blindness is very common in men because it’s carried on the X-chromosome. Men only have one X chromosome, but women have two. For a woman to be colour blind she must inherit colour blindness on both of her X-chromosomes.

UEFA Simulates How Color Blind People See Kits

UEFA released various images that show how we (non-colorblind) see and how a colorblind sees the game - the ideal is to always have a light and a dark team.

It is actually impossible for colorblind people to distinguish some teams in some matches

It is actually impossible for colorblind people to distinguish some teams when they are wearing certain kit colors - the kit combinations which cause the greatest problems for colour-blind people are:

  • Red v black
  • Red v green v orange
  • Bright green v yellow
  • White v pastel colours
  • Blue v deep purple/pink

Below is another example illustrating the difference in how a non-colorblind and a colorblind see uniforms.

Color Blindness - Issues in Football

  • Kit clashes - between players, goalkeepers, match officials, the playing surface
  • Equipment - balls, bibs, training cones, line markings
  • Venues - facilities, way-finding, safety signage, lighting
  • Information - digital, ticket purchasing, matchday programmes
  • TV coverage - graphics, long-distance camera angles

Best-practice kit combinations:

UEFA also made a short overview of which kit combos are good to distinguish for color blind people.

The more colour combinations there are in a kit, the more likely it is that kit clashes will arise. This can be an issue for your own players as well as spectators, so it’s important to avoid kit clashes as far as possible. For example, blue v white kit can easily be distinguished, as the photo below shows.

Good kit colour combinations for people with colour blindness

  • White v black
  • Red v yellow
  • Black v yellow
  • Blue v bright reds
  • Blue v yellow

For more details about color blindness in football and how to avoid problems for color blind people, make sure to check out the full booklet on color blindness in football.

Do you now understand why FIFA is so strict regarding their light / dark kit rule? Were you aware of color blind people and their issues in football? Comment below.