Montag, 2. Oktober 2017


Geoffrey Massa testing the fabric

Geoffrey Massa (Baroka FC | South Africa)
vs. Burkina Faso (0:0) | AFCON 2017 qualifier | 2016 in Uganda
This is number 206 of 211 from the FIFA list - 5 to go now only!
I am more than close to finish this journey after nearly 6 year at some point soon and start to think about how to continue... opening a museum? Going on tour to exhibit? Selling them all? Donating them? Replacing the odd ones? Hard to tell now!But we all know that 5 more can need 5 more years in this business!

The Uganda Cranes had plenty of amazing shirts over the last year, including the most amazing "Crane shirt", which has a gigantic crane all over it. This one, in comparison, is rather dull, but it was available through Nick and I thus absolutely had to grab it. The issue with the many other Ugandan shirts on ebay is that around 94% (rough estimation) are poor fakes, who are often sold on the streets of Kampala. This errea beauty, however, came direct from the Spain supplier to Nick - and then to me - and thus is 100% legit.

The Cranes did qualify for the first AFCON for a while in 2017, but unfortunately performed quite poorly. However, the team is known for great upsets in all kind of qualifiers. Still, they never managed to have a proper shirt sale available, even though their shirt seem to be the 6th or 7th most popular on ebay.

But now, let us speak about Geoffrey Massa, finally. Not only does that chap now play in Northern Cyprus and might thus be the only player with over 50 international caps who decided playing in a non-recognized country would be a great next step in your career, but he must also be the most photogenic guy international football ever saw. In only a single match two pictures of him were taken, the only ones I found of him in that very shirt. One of them shows im doing the Mo Farah McDonalds-M celebration, often mistaken for a heart, while the other shows himself transforming his shirt into a hijab. I am not sure if he did pose deliberately, but he surely knows how to make the cameramen happy.


Unknown Player
vs. South Africa (unknown result or match)
Finally, I can tick off another country from the list, once again thanks to my mate Nick, who found this spare shirt of the Mena from equipper Tovio. The shirt, which even has my size, is a flag shirt featuring the Nigrienne flag in a waving fashion all over it. As every friend of football shirts and vexilology, I do obviously love flag shirts the most and thus am more than pleased with this one!
Tovio is a very dodgy supplier from Burkina Faso, which used to offer some fine designed shirts of various Western African countries. They did offer to sell the shirts, but they only spoke colloquial French, answered once a month and after two messages asked me to WesternUnion to some individual in Burkina Faso.
Well, I was sceptical and skipped that. Nick did not, but wired the money indeed. They never confirmed them that they received the money or answered any of his mails and messages - but some 9 months later, he suddenly had the shirt in his post box. I am so happy he went through that, also for my benefit. I love it, thanks Nick!

Guinea 3

vs. Burkina Faso (1:2) | Jeux de la Francophony 2017 in Ivory Coast
 This is the opposite to my Guinea 2 shirt, also from Sindio. Unfortunately, I struggled to find an in-game picture of the match vs. Burkina Faso,but at least I got that single picture of the team leaving the pitch after losing narrowly to the Burkinabe.

Guinea 2

Unknown Player
vs. Ivory Coast (3:2) | Jeux de la Francophony 2017 in Ivory Coast
Another shirt supplier making its debut in my collection: Sindio Sports! Sindio is a small company founded and run by a Senegalese in Belgium. He is doing an amazing job on the design front and, unlike many of his African competitors, the shirts are well available online. Unfortunately, though, they are experiencing the hassles of equipping African teams and several of them, like Liberia, decided to never wear their shirts.
Guinea, though, decided to give it a try and equipped the Syli that played the Francophony Games in Ivory Coast earlier this year. The team did not make it out of the group stage in this bizarre tournament of French-speaking countries, but they were surely one of the best suited!
Thanks to Sindio and their great CEO for selling this shirt to me without the "GUINEE" print on the front (as it is offered on the webshop) - I really appreciate it a lot and love my new Guinea kit, especially as the Sily were always my favorite team in Africa, as you can read on the post of my first Guinea shirt.

Ethiopia 2

Seyoum Tesfaye (Dedebit FC)
vs. Ghana (0:5) | AFCON 2019 qualifier | 2017 in Ghana
Finally, finally, finally! Finally, I do own a definitely fully legit Ethiopia shirt! I never understood why exactly it is so hard to get hold of a shirt of one of the largest, most-developed and historically rich countries of the African continent. I have even been to Addis Ababa, well only to switch planes, and shockingly, they were not for sale at the airport either. Well, to be fair, the whole airport was the worst airport I have ever seen in my life and the next one on that journey was in Zimbabwe!

Anyways, I am getting distracted. This shirt of Spanish outfitter Errea is a wonderful design, as most of the past Ethiopian shirt were. And somehow, my dear friend Nick Warrick managed to get hold of them and is still selling some spares on his webshop. The shirt was worn in the still ongoing AFCON 2019 qualifier campaign, where Ethiopia is not very likely to make the cut, unfortunately.
Now, I can leave the airport in Addis Ababa next time without feeling ashamed of wearing a probable fake.So, thanks again Nick!


vs. Southern Sleswig (0:0) | friendly 2013 in Southern Sleswig
It would be a bit too optimistic to call this shirt overly spectacular or beautiful, but it is a rare one, indeed. This very shirt was worn in the only international fixture Skaneland, a proud CONIFA member, ever had. In 2013, shortly after the Skaneland FA was founded, the team travelled to Denmark to play Southern Sleswig,
Unfortunately, this sporting highlight is not a match the masses will remember for long, as it ended in a very dull 0:0 draw.
The most interesting fact for the collector here is the brand Max, which I never ever heard of before. So, another brand giving its debut within my small collection :)

I owe my thanks to the president of the Skaneland FA, Keyo Ghettson, who sold off those matchworn shirts to raise funds for the FA to actually revive it. Thanks Keyo!

Samstag, 22. Juli 2017

Szekely Land 2

Unknown Player
vs. Ellan Vannin (4:2) | CONIFA European Football Cup 2017 in Northern Cyprus
One more shirt I got at the European Football Cup 2017 in Northern Cyprus, staged by CONIFA. This shirt came from the biggest surprise team of the tournament: Szekely Land.
The Szeklers started the tournament "as usual" - they lost against Felvidek, a team that often seems to be the worse of the two, but somehow manages to always win that derby of the Hungarian minorities.
That loss meant that the Szeklers needed to get points from matches vs. Padania and Ellan Vannin, who were seen as favorites by many. However, they managed to get through the group stage and gave the host Northern Cyprus a great challenge in the semis, before beating the current World Champion Abkhazia in the Bronze medal match.
The biggest star of the team was, by far, Barna Bajko, who lifted the best goalscorer trophy of the whole tournament with his 5 goals in 5 matches. Congratulations!
Thanks go out to Kristof Wenczel, the founder and manager of the Szekely Land FA, who brought the whole team to a completely new level compared to earlier displays in major tournament. If they continue like that, I am sure we will see them competing for more silverware soon.

Syria 2

Taha Alaek (Al Karamah U19)
vs. New Zealand U17 (0:0) | U17 WC 2015 in Chile

This time, my thanks go straight to Lattakia in Syria! My friend Dorian Marin, former coach of a Syrian Premier League (pre-war) is still "stuck" in the country as he doesn't want to leave back his (Syrian) family and migrate himself alone.
Currently, given the hard circumstances the country is going through, Dorian is making some additional money by selling football shirts of locals in Lattakia to collectors around the world. A few of them went over my table, but only now I could finally finance one for myself.
The shirt I got is from Naeim Ghazal Naem, who plays for Teshrin FC U19, the club Dorian used to coach on an adult level. Naeim wore this shirt in the Under-17 World Cup in Chile in 2015, where the team could only make a single point by a goalless draw vs. New Zealand and went out in the group stages.
Thanks again Dorian and all the best to your whole family!

South Ossetia

Unknown players
vs. Abkhazia (1:2) | CONIFA EFC 2017 in Northern Cyprus
This might only be a shirt of a country that isn't recognised by most countries in the world, but to me it is a very special unbranded horribly-quality polyester piece! When the football organization CONIFA, which I co-founded in 2013, had its initial World Football Cup in Sweden 2014 I got shirts of 11 of the 12 participating teams - but missed the shirt of the 4th ranked South Ossetians. Now, 3 years later, I finally got it from my good friend Sergey Zassejev, the sports, culture and youth minister of South Ossetia, whom I happened to meet 4 times by now. Sergey must be one of the nicest people on earth and I cannot await to finally visit him on his South Ossetian vineyard later this year!
The shirt itself is sporting a colourful and beautiful design in the Ossetian colours and is made by a local, North Ossetia based, company, but completely unbranded.
South Ossetia actually is not South Ossetia anymore, but decided in a recent referendum to re-brand the country into "South Ossetia-Alania" to refer to their Alan routes, a Caucasian tribe inhabiting the regions for centuries.

Again all my thanks to Sergey, spaßiba!

South Africa 2

Lucas Radebe (Leeds United | England)
vs. Zambia (3:0) | WC 1998 qualifier | 1997 in South Africa

My last South Africa shirt from the 2010 World Cup in their home country is a very special one to me, as it was one of the kickstarters of this insane collection. However, if we are all honest, this one pulverizes my Tshabalala shirt when it comes to style or significance.
The first time South Africa ever qualifier for a World Cup at all was in 1998, where they got hammered (3:0) by the host and later World Champion France and drew against Saudi Arabia and Denmark. The legendary shirt they wore in that World Cup was slightly different to the one I got, though, so mine has to be from the qualifiers.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to find out which player wore this very shirt, as the team changed their numbers every time. However, given that the shirt came from a scout in the German second division, it is likely that it was brought to Germany by Delron Buckley, who played in Bochum at the time.

Qatar 3

Again an absolutely amazing shirt of the former Fortuna Düsseldorf scout. It is surely matchworn and comes with stains of mud that stayed in place for many years now.
The shirt is an absolutely brilliant design, especially compared to all the dull ones Qatar sported lately. However, I completely failed to find a picture of this one in use. I am sure I saw one earlier, before I bought it, but cannot find it anymore. Can you help?

Northern Mariana Islands

Unknown Player
Northern Mariana Islands vs. CNMI All-Stars (1:4) | 2007 in NMI
Same match - backside of the shirts
Meet the champion of the bizarre shirts - a simple t-shirt printed for the first ever match of the Northern Mariana Islands national football team. I got this shirt from Steve Menary, a well known journalist, as a swap for a Cape Verde shirts many years ago. However, I always doubted that this is an actual football shirt.
Now, I met Steve in person and he reassured me that this is the match shirt worn in their first matches vs. Guam and that it is even matchworn. That inspired me to do some fact checking again and I could find out that this shirt was indeed worn! However, it is not the shirt used against Guam, which was sky blue, but was a celebration shirt for that event. In the preparation to the first ever national team match, the NMI national team did some matches locally, playing the CNMI All-Stars, where they indeed wore this shirt during a football match! So, I can count it in and absolutely love it!
Finally, I found it highly amusing that the Northern Mariana Islands national team lost 4-1 against a local "all-star team".

Northern Cyprus 2

Northern Cyprus national team
Silver Medal Ceremony | CONIFA Euros 2017
Just a few months ago, in June 2017, I went to Northern Cyprus for the first time in my life to co-organize the CONIFA European Football Cup, which was staged there. The tournament broke the longlasting sportingly isolation the international community dictated on the Northern part of the island. In fact, the first match of the tournament was also the first international football match played in Northern Cyprus since the ELF Cup in 2011!
I had an incredible time in Kyrenia and was able to visit all tournament stadiums - Kyrenia, Güzelyürt, Nicosia and Famagusta - over the week. If you ever have a chance to go to Cyprus, whichever part, take it!
Sportingly, the host made it to the grand final in Nicosia, where they lost to Padania on penalties.
Over the week, I wore my older Northern Cyprus shirt a couple of times over the day, which the manager of the national team couldn't accept. He insisted on giving me the new shirt, which in fact is much more sophisticated and beautiful. So, thanks KTFF!