A Northern Ireland boy has been told he is unable to play rugby because of his prescription safety goggles. Seven-year-old Ryan Totten, from Colerane in County Antrim, has played rugby for his home town club for three years.
The BBC reports that due to his poor eyesight, the boy “has worn sports goggles that meet British and EU safety standards” adding that he is “too young to wear contact lenses.”
But the sport’s governing body, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), has said he is not allowed to play contact rugby and at a tournament in April, he was asked to leave the pitch due to IRFU rules which ban players from wearing any eyewear on the pitch.
According to the BBC, the boy’s mother said that he was "upset, embarrassed and disappointed" that he was unable to play.
Current IRFU rules state: “In the interest of safety (of the player wearing the goggles and other players) and best practice, the wearing of glasses or goggles when participating in the contact format of rugby cannot be allowed.”
While the IRFU defended its position, telling the BBC it “must prioritise player safety at all times,” the body said it would review its policy on eyewear following the results of an eyewear trial by global governing body, World Rugby.