The women’s national soccer teams of New Zealand and England are the latest to announce the end of the use of white shorts in their official uniforms, as more female athletes around the world voice concerns over period anxiety during matches.
Team New Zealand, also known as the Ford Football Ferns, said in a statement this week that it will no longer require white shorts for its players, opting instead for a white shirt with teal-blue shorts as part of its new kit for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which the nation is co-hosting with Australia in July and August.
The team cited a “global shift away from female athletes wearing white shorts” as part of the move. Player Hannah Wilkinson called the move “fantastic for women with any kind of period anxiety” and a “recognition and appreciation of women’s health.”
England’s team, known as the Lionesses, said Monday that its players will use blue shorts in its latest kits for the World Cup, although it did not explicitly mention period anxiety for the shift away from white shorts. Players like forward Beth Mead have previously voiced concern over the color of the shorts, and said they have reflected the concerns to their kit provider Nike Inc.
Nike said earlier in the week that its new kit for 13 nations, including Australia, New Zealand and Brazil will incorporate technology to prevent period leaks, after receiving “athlete feedback.” Soccer teams like Manchester City, as well as other sports like Ireland’s women’s rugby team, have also stopped wearing white shorts.