Why referees won’t all wear the same uniforms at the 2024 Paris Olympics

Why referees won’t all wear the same uniforms at the 2024 Paris Olympics
Why referees won’t all wear the same uniforms at the 2024 Paris Olympics

No souvenir costumes for the Games referees. At least, not from the Organising Committee (Cojop). Unlike in past editions, the judges officiating in costume – in judo, fencing and taekwondo – will not receive their official Paris 2024 outfits. “It’s a shame. I would have liked to be able to take my costume out again in a few years,” regrets a French official, who feels left out compared to the athletes.

Behind the bitterness of the referees lies the question of aesthetic unity. Certainly, a uniform “chic and casual”, according to the words of Paris 2024, will be well delivered to everyone. Composed of 19 pieces “casual and semi-formal”, he must “be able to be worn on the competition area”, in accordance with the host city contract.

Except that this common outfit for all sports does not appear to be compatible with the disciplines whose regulations require the wearing of a costume. Faced with this situation, the burden therefore falls on the international federations concerned to ” propose a different uniform.” The Games organization has nevertheless worked with them to limit the risks.

The fact remains that each party was able to choose its own method. The Judo Federation thus took responsibility for purchasing the outfits, respecting the graphic codes expected by Paris 2024. A distinct choice from the Fencing Federation, which preferred to send a check for around €500 to its referees. With this sum, they must acquire two costumes according to precise color codes requiring the use of custom production.

A budget that is not always sufficient depending on the referee’s country of origin. So will we see, under the glass roof of the Grand Palais, fencing judges in outfits that are mismatched to those of their counterparts on the tatamis of the Arena du Champ-de-Mars? Not impossible.

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