Boy, aged 7, ‘can’t play with glasses’
PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 October 2015 | UPDATED: 09:24 02 October 2015
A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy has been told he cannot play for his football team because he needs glasses.
Chase Brown, who joined Milton Nomads JFC at the start of the season, played just one game for the club before a welfare officer said playing in spectacles contravenes safety regulations.
Chase has needed glasses since he was three and his mother Danielle Hesketh said he becomes agitated without them.
To buy special sports glasses would cost £125 – a price mum Danielle is not able to pay.
Chase, who supports Aston Villa and Barcelona and says his favourite player is Lionel Messi, took up the sport in July after classmates at Ashcombe Primary School – where he attends – joined the team. Danielle said Chase was delighted to have made his debut.
Danielle said: “It was amazing. His little face lit up and he was playing with all his friends – that’s why we took him to that club.”
Danielle revealed she had paid a registration fee of £25 and was ready to pay an extra £60 for Chase’s football kit. Unable to afford sports glasses on top, she had to break it to Chase that he would no longer be able play in the team.
“I feel sad because I just want to play football with my friends and nanny just bought me new boots,” said Chase.
Danielle added: “I received a message saying that Chase was reported for wearing his glasses and if he played again the team would get a fine.
“If you can’t afford it, it seems your children won’t be able to play.
“Chase has always had glasses from day one playing for this team and no-one said anything till now.”
FIFA guidelines say officials should show tolerance when allowing the use of glasses, especially for young footballers. Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids famously wore protective goggles after suffering from glaucoma throughout his career.
Alan Alder, welfare officer for Milton Nomads said: “Milton Nomads is a Respect club. We are not practising discrimination in any form.
“We are not saying yes but we are not saying no. This is precautionary until we can establish the facts.”
He added: “It is about reducing the health and safety risks to zero. If it was my child I would want them to be integrated. If that required me paying additional costs to support them, I would do that.”
Danielle said: “I now have a little boy who is going to be heartbroken because of his eyesight and the fact I’m a single parent who finds £125 a lot of money. How can they treat a child like this?”
Somerset FA represenatives told the Mercury it follows FIFA guidelines, with emphasis on showing tolerance to young players involved in such matters.