By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
FIFA will hand out severe punishments to teams who allow their players to use their personalized branded headphones at the 2014 World Cup.
The world football governing body say it is against their marketing regulations to have unregistered FIFA brands displayed at their tournament which kicks off in Brazil on June 12.
FIFA has banned the use of individual team branding in their competitions but have taken it further by issuing a directive that no player is allowed to display their new-found fashion of wearing huge headphones to games during the World Cup.
The trend of football stars listening to music through huge headphones – usually from products manufactured by Beats by Dre - when making their way for games is on the rise all over.
Some of the players even have their headphones customized with diamond crystals and in other flashy colours as part of the new fashion.
In Ghana, stars such as Sulley Muntari, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Asamoah Gyan, Michael Essien, Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Opare and others are noted for putting on these branded headphones when heading for games.
But FIFA says it will fine teams heavily alongside other punishments if their players are found to be displaying such gadgets at the World Cup.
“I will reveal something to you; at the last FIFA seminar we attended for the 32 teams that have qualified for the World Cup in Brazil, FIFA has banned the use of the branded headphones - that the players wear – at the World Cup,” Ghana FA spokesman Ibrahim Sannie-Daara told Metro TV’s Sports File.
“There are new FIFA regulations for officials, players, media and so on for this World Cup and this is regulation is part of it.”
This means players and officials have been barred from using branded materials including headphones that are not sanctioned by FIFA during official events at the 2014 World Cup.
Such official events include FIFA’s pre and post match press conferences, during games, at the mixed zones and other FIFA organized events during the World Cup.
It also means players will be restricted to using their unsanctioned FIFA brands at the World Cup in their rooms and non-official FIFA training days.
The regulation is meant to protect the marketing interests of FIFA’s wide range of sponsors which include electronic manufacturers Sony.