FIFA in its infinite wisdom has issued the following rule for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil:
Rule 2, section 35: Each team shall inform FIFA of two different and contrasting colours (i.e. strips). One predominately dark and one predominately light for its official and reserve kit.
Though not all of the competing nations have released their two kits for the tournament it is already clear that the various national federations have interpreted this directive in a number of ways. Mexico, Brazil, the Netherlands, and France appear to have read the new rule and then, at least in the case of their traditional first choice kits, said, “Yeah, whatever” and decided to wear them anyway. My guess is that they are confident that, if necessary, they can wear their new change kits- though I wouldn’t be caught dead in Mexico’s new away kit (scroll down) under any circumstances.
Other nations have read the rule and determined that “predominantly” means “more than 50%” and changed their “home” kits accordingly. Argentina will retain their La Albiceleste shirts, but have dropped their traditional black shorts. Chile have dropped their white shorts and will wear red/blue/blue instead of red/white/blue. Colombia have dropped their yellow/blue/red color scheme and will not wear an atrocious yellow/white/white combination. While some of these changes will rankle traditionalists (like yours truly) only because they are different than usual, others (like the Colombia kit) are just plain ugly.
Not wanting to put themselves at the mercy of what FIFA might or might not mean by the word “predominantly,” other national federations have opted for the path of least resistance. Germany have dropped their black shorts and will now play in all white, Italy have dropped their white shorts and will now play in all azzurri, Switzerland have dropped their white shorts and will play in all red. If all of these countries are making these changes why am I taking issue with Spain?
I’m taking issue with Spain because, with both their first and second choice kits for Brazil next summer they appear to have just been plain lazy. At home Spain have traditionally worn their red shirts, blue shorts (ranging from a medium to a dark blue), and blue, black, or red socks. Whatever the combination, the home kit was pure class and based on the example being set by Brazil, Mexico, France, etc. they would have worn it in Brazil, instead of this.
It’s not bad, it’s just boring. It’s also kind of hard to tell that it’s a different kit than this:
Spain, Russia, whatever.
In the past Spain’s change kits have been light blue/white/light blue, all white, gold/white/white, gold/navy/navy, and an all navy kit with plenty of red and yellow detailing that was just beautiful. Instead we get black with “electric yellow” and gray trim- what?! Seriously, the defending World Cup champions may be forced to turn out in this on more than one occasion this summer-