OPINION: Egypt deserves a better 2018 World Cup kit design
Summer 2018 will arguably witness some the best international team kits in recent history. Many of Adidas kits were created by studying the footballing histories of the different nations, focusing on memorable aspects of kits worn in the most successful years.
Kits of Prolific Nations
Adidas put a lot of effort and creativity into the jerseys of successful footballing nations such as Spain and Germany.
Spain’s kit features a diamond-shaped printed pattern down the right-hand side, last seen on their shirts in the 1994 tournament.
According to Adidas, the diamonds represent the speed, energy, and style of football that have become associated with the national team. The Adidas logo has also been shifted into the center, perhaps to highlight the design pattern on the right. Unlike the modern interpretation, the classic jersey incorporated a polo-neck style collar, which was navy blue with slim streaks of red and yellow.
The home 2018 World Cup kit of champions Germany is a modern take on their shirt from 1990 – the third time they won the trophy. The kit features an updated monochrome version of the old printed graphic, which runs horizontally across the chest.
Adidas combined these design elements with the company’s latest innovations, to create functional garments that pay homage to past glories. And while these kits look great, it only highlights the major footballing countries. In no way does Egypt have even a fraction of the footballing history and accolades that countries like Germany and Spain possess on the international football stage, yet it Adidas did not try with Egypt’s World Cup nearly as much as they did with the jerseys of the footballing powerhouses.
When the design of Egypt’s 2018 World Cup kit first leaked, many were disappointed, hoping that it was fake. The kit was plain and boring. It lacked creativity, especially in light of the previous Adidas national team jersey releases for other nations.
There is almost nothing authentic about the kit itself as it is plain and lacking in creativity. Adidas most definitely used a template design to create the kit and began selling it for extortionate prices. One can literally get the same exact thing from a bootleg store for a tenth of the price and nobody would notice the difference.
Many immediately noticed its similarities to the jersey that Egypt wore at the 2012 London Olympics, where we saw a young Mohamed Salah team up with Mohamed Aboutrika to make it all the way to the quarterfinals. The new Egypt kit is almost identical to the 2012 edition.
There are only two real differences between the jerseys. The 2012 kit had a white patch on the underarm, while the new kit features Adidas’s trademark three stripes.
The new kit and the old kit are similar in that they both have a black collar and cuff. The two kits also have a relatively plain red background.
The only thing that is somewhat creative about the kit is the faint checkered pattern on the front, which can only be noticed from close up. Egypt’s kit is almost a complete opposite to the kits of countries like Columbia and Spain, whose inventive designs and patterns are the first things you see on them.
The kit was likened to the beginner jerseys that are made in football video games or kits that semi-professional teams use. Yet Egypt are no semi-professional team, Egypt is the most successful footballing nation in Africa, having won the most Africa Cup of Nations and produced the two greatest African club sides.
Kit Manufacturers Laziness with Smaller Nations
Adidas and Nike have monopolized the football jersey industry. Almost 70% of the 2018 World Cup kits will be manufactured by the two. New Balance, Puma, and Umbro are all manufacturing two kits each. Smaller manufacturers Erreà, Hummel, Romai, and Uhlsport all manufacture just one kit.
Of the four Arab nations playing at the World Cup, Egypt and Morocco’s kits will be made by Adidas, Saudi Arabia’s will be made by Nike, and Uhlsport will manufacture Tunisia’s. Of the African nations that were not mentioned yet: Nigeria’s will be manufactured by Nike and Senegal’s will be made by Romai.
There are small nations whose kits are manufactured by big kit brands that are creative though. Croatia, Mexico, and Japan have creative kits. Of the nations whose kits are provided by the lesser known manufacturers, they tend to have more creative kits. Romai manufactured Senegal’s kit and it was extremely creative with flashing colors going across the chest. Cameroon, who did not even make the World Cup, have a more creative kit than Egypt.
Egypt’s History with Kit Manufactures
Puma produced Egypt’s kit from 2006 to 2012. They abruptly canceled their contract with the EFA following the infamous Port Said football riot.
Adidas picked up Egypt afterwards, providing them kits after Puma left them.
Adidas’ deal with the EFA will expire in 2018, and it seems that their deal will be extended.
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