Tashkent: Uzbekistan has banned football fans from painting their faces or other parts of their body, according to a new code of conduct from the culture and sports ministry.
The new code published this week stipulates that football fans are not allowed "to paint their faces or other parts of their body" and cannot bring in animals or drink alcohol.
They must also not shout insults or carry defamatory posters, signs or symbols that could call for ethnic, racial or religious hatred.
The code, approved by the internal affairs ministry, obliges fans to go through a special police check against having firearms, explosives, sharp and oversized objects and hazardous liquids.
Fans who violate or do not obey the new code "will not be allowed in or will be evicted from the event without being refunded the ticket price", and furthermore "may face a punishment according to the law", the document says.
The code allows fans to bring flags, drums and banners detailing their size and type. But there was no explanation as to why the authorities object to face painting, which is popular at sports events worldwide.
Painting faces and body parts is not welcomed in Uzbekistan, a largely Muslim state. Uzbek state television recently dubbed tattoos as the sign of "moral degradation and one of the elements of pernicious Western mass culture."
Football has become the most popular sport in the Central Asian nation of almost 30 million people, particularly after the country reached the Asia Cup semi-finals in 2011, and matches generally pass off without any untoward incidents.
The Uzbekistan football federation won the 2012 FIFA Fair Play Award for the good behaviour of the Uzbek national team and the country's club sides participating in AFC competitions during the past year.