Freitag, 8. Februar 2019


With this Yugoslavia shirt, the Balkan should be covered, given that shorter lived countries as the Republic of Serbia Krajina never had time to found a national football team.
It also is a good leap forward in terms of completing ex-FIFA shirts. Just the two Germanys, which are super expensive, South Vietnam and South Yemen to go now, I believe. I never focused on getting those shirts, and probably they are nearly all impossible to ever get, but if you have a South Yemen shirt lying around at home, please let me know. Thanks!

Malta 3

Unknown Players
vs. Portugal (0:4) | World Cup 1994 qualifier | 1993 in Italy
Malta shirts, for reasons I never quite understood, are largely available out there, usually super beautiful and, even when matchworn, don't break your bank. This one ticks all those boxes for sure. It is matchworn, it is from the early 90s and has a wonderful design we would now call "vintage" and it came for around 50€. Although I had a matchworn Malta shirt, I could thus naturally not resist and I am very happy I did not!


Unknown Player
vs. Sealand (4:1) | friendly 2014 in England
Panjab is a region spanning across India and Pakistan and once was a powerful kingdom that influenced at least half of Asia. The name of the region is today usually written as "Punjab", which is the spelling the British colonizers preferred, as an English pronunciation of "Punjab" sounds more like what Panjab should be pronounced like. Originally, however, Panjab is derived from the two Persian words "panj" (=five) and "ab" (waters), describing the region as the land of the five streams. Understandably, the FA does prefer the traditional spelling and sticks to Panjab until today.
That FA was actually found in England as a vehicle to bring the massive Panjabi community in the UK, Canada, all across Europe and the homelands in India and Pakistan together - on a footbal pitch. They grew significantly and do now regularly pick Pakistan national like goalkeeper Yussef Butt, who are very proudly representing their Panjabi heritage.

Before they grew, though, the FA president Harpreet Singh presented me this matchworn shirt as a gift, which I appreciate a lot. Although a very simple, and for me too simple, designed shirt, it is great to have a piece of history from the early days of the team. Given their much more sophisticated and beautiful current kits, I will, however, definitely try to get hold of one of those in the future. Thanks, Harpreet!

Uganda 3

One more shirt that I own for ages, but never uploaded to this blog, as I was not too sure that it is legit. As I now went through all shirt with great care and checked their legitimacy as good as possible, I tend to believe that this one is legit, although I still struggle to find a match picture of it in use. Can you help?

Zambia 2

Edward Chilufya (Mpande Youth)
vs. Iran (4:2) | friendly 2017 in South Korea
Briefly after I have taken my older Zambia shirt out to actual Zambia, having an amazing time in Livingstone, my mate Nick from Football Shirt World got in new Zambia shirts and offered them to me. When you have been to a country, you naturally feel affected to it a little bit, and so this was a bit of a soft spot to me and I had to take it.
So here you are, the latest Mafro design for Zambia, a wonderful design, although I do not like how they print the front number over the colourful front pattern for matches. Thanks Nick!

Vietnam 3

Duong Van Hao (Viettel FC)
vs. France (0:4) | U20 World Cup 2017 in South Korea
Vietnam is surely a country on the rise when it comes to football, including their national team. For the first time ever, they could qualify for a Youth World Cup in 2017 and, shortly after, for the Asian Cup 2019. A huge factor to that recent success is a football sponsoring agency based in my home city Cologne. They have partnered with the Vietnam FA to up their game systematically and were able to realize coaching sessions and qualification courses for coaches and referees across the country. They have also helped building two football academies in Vietnam to find the best national talent.
As a part of their involvment, the German globetrotter coach Hans-Jürgen Gede went to Vietnam as a Technical Director and attracted a team of German coaches to support him coaching the various age levels.
I got in touch with Hans-Jürgen Gede around 2017 and exchanged some calls with him, mostly chatting about his time in Vietnam. He is an amazing human being and full of stories from around the world. When they qualified for the U17 World Cup in South Korea, Hans-Jürgen promised me to grab a shirt for me, bring it home and post it to me within Germany. As you can see - he delivered!
Thus, this is shirt is the player version of the U17 World Cup and comes with patches, but was not matchworn, as the name and number are not printed yet. As a little goodie, Hans-Jürgen even got it signed by the whole squad!
Thanks Hans-Jürgen, really appreciate, I love my new Vietnam shirt!

Donnerstag, 7. Februar 2019

Kenya 2

Shirt presentation
Finally a proper Kenya shirt. I was never fully sure that my old one is legit, as there are so many fakes around of those older ones. This one definitely is, as it came from Football Shirt World, who again got it straight from Mafro, the kit supplier.
Thanks Nick of Football Shirt World for sorting those out - I love the massive star, although I still wonder if it is a Ghana shirt until today.

Saudi Arabia 2

A bit of an odd one here again. I have this Saudi Arabai shirt for a while now already, but never uploaded it, as I struggled to find a match picture of it. Has anyone ever seen this in use? If so, please let me know and pop me the pic over, so I can properly blog it!


Jordan Coduri (AFC Penistone Church)
vs. Ellan Vannin (1:1) | friendly 2018 in Yorkshire
Meet Jordan Coduri, the man that wrote history by scoring the first ever international goal for his nation - which ultimately helped them to draw against Ellan Vannin. Jordan usually plays for AFC Penistone Church, which sounds far away from international football, and usually is, but on this day in 2018 he was in spotlight of the UK media. That is exactly the reason why I love CONIFA; average Joes becoming heroes in a few moments!

The Yorkshire team is one of the younger ones in CONIFA and they have yet to play a major tournament, even within CONIFA, but they have been incredibly busy and active within their short time of existence. Although a few keep questioning their eligibility or "reason to be a nation", I believe that a common feeling and identity is already a very strong reason to be just that - a nation.
I was lucky enough to get this shirt, which I believe is a player version, but not matchworn, straight from GDZOWN, the shirt supplier of the team, which did an amazing job here. Thanks guys!

Western Sahara

Western Sahara is an odd place, even for odd places. It is an overwhelmingly unrecognized country, but, after Kosovo, is the second most recognized of such countries. On the other hand, it is the only of such countries that does not control the vast majority of its claimed territory, which is in fact controlled (or occupied) by Morocco. The government of the RASD (which is the Spanish short handle for Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic) does in fact only control a small nearly depopulated strip of land, which mainly is host to military staff, and refugee camps in Algeria, where the actual Sahrawi population lives. Of course, this is all the result of a tragic, long-going and often very devastating history, but it is surely a very odd unique case in the world.

In said refugee camps, but also within the diaspora in Spain, the government of the RASD started to support football as a sport of choice about a decade ago. However, it took a while to really get off the ground. Now, as of today, the group is ready to play friendlies across Europe and most of Africa at any time, given their serious and professional management and their decent talent spread over two continents. I am very much looking forward to see the team in a big tournament soon, hopefully, and with this dress, which they just adopted, they will look great, too.
In case you wondered, by the way, this shirt was made by a Spanish company called Orlo Sport.

Western Armenia

Unknown Player
vs. Sapmi (0:3) | CONIFA World Football Cup 2016 in Abkhazia
Western Armenia was, until now obviously, one of the few shirts of (active) CONIFA members I missed. That changed now, mostly thanks to Hiratch Yagan, a player from Servette Geneve, the manager of the Nagorno Karabakh national league and, on top of all that, the guy who manages most of Western Armenia activities. Hiratch did promise to deliver me a Western Armenia shirt for a longer while, but given his thousands of jobs, he understandably didn't make it for a while. Now, he finally did deliver and, to my delight, sent me a matchworn version of the rare black third shirt they rarely used. Thanks Hiratch!

Ukraine 3

Artem Besyedin (Metalist Kharkiv)
vs. Myanmar | U20 World CUp 2015 in New Zealand
Yip, this is a matchworn. Thus, one more UEFA member covered on the matchworn list.
It also is an amazing pinstrip design, a pattern that is used far too less these days in international football, in my opinion. Plus, blue and yellow remains my favorite combination of colours.

There is really not a hell of a lot I could write about Ukraine or this shirt. So I will close this by making you aware that I did one hour of research just to find this shirt in use in the most bizarre possible fixture.

Uganda 2

Philip Obwiny (Express Red Eagles)
vs. Kenya (1:1) | Castle Cup 2001 in Kenya
You wondered what the all time favorite of every national team shirt collector is? Well, a Vanuatu flag-style shirt and this mindblowing Uganda Cranes shirt. Just take a look at the picture from the match above for a few seconds. That poor Kenyan looks pathetic in his cheapish one-size-fits-all red jumper, while Mr. Obwiny just has class! You can see his joy of wearing this polyester masterpiece and to be fair - he is absolutely right feeling this way!

Uganda, as far as I am aware, used this shirt on in the 2001 Castle Cup, a four-nation tournament in Eastern Africa that is long gone. They remained unbeaten with it over 90 minutes, only losing to Kenya on penalties. That makes you wonder naturally: This is one of the best shirts that were ever design. It helped them to not concede a single goal while wearing it and thus is a great talisman. And then there is this trend of using all those old design currently. To sum it  up:
DEAR HUMMEL - BRING BACK THIS SHIRT (if you want, call it "vintage tribute to 2001" as the others do) NOW!


Unknown Player
vs. United Koreans (0:5) | CONIFA World Football Cup 2018 in London
Tuvalu is one of only three UN member nations that made home in CONIFA (the others are Kiribati and Monaco), not FIFA, as they are constantly rejected membership by the latter for no particular reason. As the only of those three, they even made it to a World Football Cup, CONIFAs prime event, when they travelled all the way to London in 2018. That might well have been the farthest any team any traveled to play a World Cup in football history, as they literally live "on the other side" of the globe!
Many expected Tuvalu do lose heavily and get devastated during the tournament, but in fact, the team was in great shape and condition and did much better than many expected. They beat the Chagos Islands 6-1 in a friendly that had to replace the planned match vs. Ellan Vannin, who left the tournament. They also were very close to beating Tamil Eelam, who scored two goals in overtime to get a 4:3 victory in the end. The other matches were lost, but except for a 0:8 against Padania were all not heavy losses, which is a success in itself. A good comparison is probably Tahiti, one of the strongest teams in the Pacific, who played the Confederations Cup in Brazil 2013 and ended their group stage with zero points and 1:24 goals. Tuvalu ended theirs at the CONIFA World Football Cup with zero points and 1:15 goals. You might argue that Spain, Uruguay and Nigeria (Tahitis opponent back then) are slightly better then Padania, Szekely Land and Matabeleland (Tuvalus opponents in London 2018), which is probably true. However, the gap is similar, I believe, given Tahiti is a local powerhouse and has a couple of full and semi-pros, while Tuvalus superstars are a guy famous for being the slowest 100m runner in the last Olympics and a player who played semi-pro football in New Zealand nearly a decade ago. Their opponents, except for Matabeleland, were nearly all paid for playing football and trained daily for years.

The shirt again is from Stingz and is match issued or a player shirt, whatever naming you prefer. It was given to me by the great guys from Stingz, who I can only thank for this one. I love it!