6.1 Players and Officials
Main User Groups


05 min. reading time

This section deals with the specific spaces used by players and match officials. The pitch area was the focus of Section 5.3, but dressing room areas and medical facilities, including doping control, are considered here. The final part of this section deals with football technology, which is increasingly being used at elite level to enhance the performance of players and the enforcement of the Laws of the Game.

Each stadium should design its player and match official spaces in line with local competition needs, and the application of these spaces to the FIFA stadium categories can be found in Chapter 7. Some of the requirements listed here are more applicable to elite competition and larger stadiums.


A stadium should have at least two player dressing room areas that include the team dressing rooms, toilets and showers and bathing/recovery areas. Depending on the proposed use of the stadium, additional pairs of dressing rooms may be needed – these would be required to accommodate any “double-header” fixtures (two fixtures played on the same matchday) but could also be useful if the stadium is used for additional entertainment purposes – either as part of a matchday or for stand-alone events (e.g. concerts).

It is recommended that all player dressing room areas be similar in terms of size and standard of comfort. Where the stadium is intended for use in major tournaments, the set-up of these dressing room areas should be identical in all respects.

The player dressing room areas should ideally be located on opposite sides of the players’ tunnel and near to the main stand.

All access routes from the player dressing rooms to the field of play shall have an appropriate protective surface (such as non-slip flooring and shock absorption qualities) to ensure the safety of the players. These measures should extend through the mixed zone when deployed.

Double-width doors are recommended for main access/entry into both dressing rooms, allowing for the movement of equipment in/out of the rooms, both before and after the match.

Figure 6.1.1
A typical player dressing room area

Team dressing room area

It is recommended that the following spaces be included in each team dressing room area:

• Coach offices/dressing rooms
• Dressing room
• Toilets and sanitary facilities
• Showers and bathing/recovery areas
• Massage room
• Refreshment area
• Kit manager room
• Technical office

All team dressing rooms should ideally contain the following facilities to the given specification:

• Well-ventilated room with fresh air, air-conditioned, and/or centrally heated with own control unit (individual control for each team area)
• Non-slip floors made from hygienic material, ideally with shock absorption
• Clothes-hanging facilities or locker space, with safes for personal belongings, additional cupboard/shelving space. For professional facilities, it is becoming more common to provide individual power points/USB ports for the charging of personal devices
• Mirrors
• Provision to mount a television (including data/CATV connection) in a central viewing position
• Tactical football board with magnets

It is also recommended to provide a boot-cleaning area close to the player dressing room area.

For larger stadiums hosting elite-level matches, it is increasingly common to provide wet recovery areas for players, incorporating thermostatically controlled recovery facilities including spas and ice baths.


This sub-section contains the recommended provision of dressing rooms, toilets and showers/bathing areas for the match officials:

• At least one match officials’ dressing room
• The dressing room area should not have any view obstructions within the room (e.g. poles), and should consist of one area in total
• The match officials’ dressing room should be separate from but close to the team dressing rooms and close to the players’ tunnel. It should have direct, protected access to the field of play, inaccessible to the public and the media
• Toilets and sanitary facilities: two toilets, two showers
• Equipped with heating, ventilation and air-conditioning
• Non-slip flooring made from hygienic material
• All access routes from the match officials’ dressing room to the field of play shall be covered with protective, non-slip flooring to ensure the safety of the match officials
• Boot-cleaning facilities

Figure 6.1.2
A typical match officials’ dressing room

Consideration should also be given to the provision of facilities for male and female match officials. This will be informed by local requirements and custom. This can be achieved by providing at least one sealed shower and toilet unit/sanitary facilities along with a private area for changing. Depending on the proposed use of the stadium, an additional match officials’ dressing room should be considered to accommodate any “double-header” fixtures (two fixtures played on the same matchday).

Match officials' dressing room

Players' medical room


The medical examination room for players and officials should be located close to the pitch access route. The room needs to be fully accessible to stretchers and wheelchairs. A discrete route from the medical room to the ambulance area is desirable in case a player or official needs to be transported to a hospital. The specific requirements of local medical teams will take priority and must be established when defining the space, but a minimum area of 25m² is recommended for larger stadiums.

Easily cleaned hygienic walls and flooring are required, and the floor must be non-slip. The room should be heated or cooled depending on the local climate, well ventilated and brightly lit. Hot and cold running water must be installed together with drinking water, and a hand basin must be provided. The room should be equipped with an easily cleaned worktop and a lockable medicine cabinet. There should be a minimum of one examination table space large enough to accommodate two stretchers, and one physiotherapy bench – with sufficient space to circulate on three sides of each.

The medical examination room should have a separate space/office for the doctor.


The doping control room is the space required by the competition authorities to undertake the testing of players to ensure compliance with anti-doping regulations.

The doping control room shall be located in the vicinity of the team dressing rooms and shall ensure absolute privacy for the duration of sample collection and administration.

The doping control room must have private access to dedicated toilet and shower facilities. An additional private waiting area should be located immediately outside the doping control room.

Figure 6.1.4
A typical doping control room


For larger stadiums intended for professional use, it is recommended that a room be allocated for ball kids, who are (usually) the children who retrieve the ball when it leaves the field of play and recirculate it to the players. It is recommended that the room be approximately 25m² with a view to accommodating 15 kids. It should provide easy access to toilets, space for a fridge, with convenient access to the pitch area although not within the player dressing room area. The room should ideally be accessible at half-time.

Where ball kids of both genders are engaged, consideration needs to be given to the appropriate separation of changing and sanitary facilities.


Football technology refers to the application of the latest sport technologies to enhance the game of football. It generally falls into two categories:

• Technologies used to support the implementation of the Laws of the Game (match official support technologies)
• Technologies used to support in-/post-game analysis

Technologies used to support the implementation of the Laws of the Game include the following:

Video assistant referee (VAR) system: this system uses available broadcast feeds to enable the replaying of footage from the game which allows match officials to review incidents and assist with decision-making. In a stadium, this usually involves a referee review area (RRA) where the match referee can review incidents on a screen and consult with the video assistant referee(s).

A pre-match check of goal-line technology

Referee review area (RRA)

Goal-line technology (GLT): this is technology that uses a high-speed camera system to support goal/no goal decisions. The system is usually mounted on the catwalk and uses antennas to send a signal to the referee.

The requirements for these technologies are provided by the governing body of the competition(s) to be played in the respective stadium.

The IT specifications for these technologies are covered in Sub-Section 5.7.7.

Technologies used to support in-/post-game analysis include the following:

Optical tracking systems (OTS): these may include the use of various cameras, focusing on the field of play, to track all players, the referees and the ball. In some cases, these are governed and supplied by the governing body of the competition(s). In some cases, they might be installed by the team(s) using the stadium.

Some teams and competitions provide team analyst positions with workstations within the stadium to allow monitoring of player and team performance using programme feeds and other data.

Further information on the application of football technology can be found on FIFA.com.