Templates Of Doom #1 (Part 2, G-O): Adidas Equipment V.1 – International

Click here for Part 1, including Intro, Overview and YouTube links, or here for Part 3.

(some entries still works in progress)

Gabon:

2021 update – Thanks to Football Shirt World for alerting us to this one.

At the 1994 African Cup of Nations, Gabon played three, lost three, scored none and conceded seven. Despite this, they were the real winners at the tournament as best dressed team. One of several African sides to adopt Equipment just as the European and American teams were dropping it, they appeared for their opening group game against Nigeria in an amazing bespoke version:

The Gabonese had pulled off THREE different colour bars – the only example we’ve seen – plus both crest and country name on front creating a very special look:

On the back, classic non-nonsense box numbers without player names was a fine way to go:

Although there doesn’t seem to be any more footage from their Equipment run, an all-green and white away kit was also around as seen in this pic (again thanks to Football Shirt World for sourcing that).

Indonesia:

The next team on our list are one of the lesser-known users of the template. There’s not much footage of Indonesia in action from the period, but we know they were at least wearing red Equipment shirts, with flag crests, by the time of a World Cup qualifier against Qatar on 24 April 1993 in Singapore:

Front numbers and player names were used, with the latter seeming to cover part of the back shoulder bars. Plain white shorts were preferred also rather than the intended accompanying design, as seen here at another qualifier a few days later on 28 April 1993 against North Korea:

Interestingly, the one other example of an Indonesian side wearing the template is from a youth friendly in 1993 or 94 with Juventus Primavera (U19). A different style of naming can be seen on the back, and crest more visible than above on front:

Ireland:

The first hint of Ireland’s progression from trefoil to Equipment came on 27 March 1991, as an updated numbering style featuring three diagonal corner-stripes made its debut away to England:

The numbers were still there by the time of Ireland’s first World Cup 94 qualifier at home to Albania on 26 May 1992. While the Albanians wore brand new Equipment kits – produced specially on Irish soil after the team from the crisis-ridden nation had shown up without any of their own – Ireland still wore their 1990 template, although now including a new FAI crest which had been debuted away to Turkey the year before:

The slow metamorphosis was completed at home to Latvia on 9 September 1992, as Ireland’s Equipment ensemble was revealed. Unlike any other country, the Irish collar featured white and orange trim to make it really stand out, plus vertical shadow striping compared to everyone else’s plain material, and an Equipment logo positioned higher on the shorts than most:

Like Finland’s white and blue, something about the shade of green was perfect for the style of the template. Appeasing completists, both short and long-sleeved jerseys were on show for this debut outing:

The new crest, as well as the numbering on the back, now looked full in place:

The kit was actually not quite complete however, as the socks featured stripes but were devoid of the Equipment logo:

For the next qualifier away to Denmark on 14 October 1992, the Equipment logo was now present on the socks, with traditional Irish “white feet” – a staple of several generations of kits before it:

For some reason someone still wasn’t happy with the socks, and they were ditched after the away game with Spain that followed Denmark. For the resumption of qualifiers on 31 March 1993 at home to Northern Ireland, logo-less green socks with white turnovers debuted:

A sponsored version – the only one available to the public as a replica – was worn for an interesting match, considered an unofficial David O’Leary testimonial for the hosts, but registered as an official international by FIFA and the visiting Hungarian opponents. The high Adidas logo positioning on the shorts for Ireland, in comparison with Finland’s low for example, can also be seen:

Apart from the sock changes and the testimonial situation, the standard home kit was worn for every match in this relatively short period until the last – a crucial World Cup 94 qualifier away to Northern Ireland in Belfast on 17 November 1993. Thankfully this game gave us a look at the excellent white and green away version, with the same type of socks:

Having worn a trefoil from 1986 to 1992, Ireland’s Equipment era only lasted 435 days. By the time of World Cup 94 warm-up friendlies the following year, this kit would be gone:

Japan:

Japan only wore the Equipment template for a handful of occasions, the first of which was possibly at home to Argentina in the friendly Kirin Cup on 30 May 1992. Instantly noticeable was that the Japanese were seemingly the only national team at senior level to feature the logo in the middle shoulder bar, ala-Liverpool, while the one on the shorts was positioned high:

A white and blue away shirt was used for the other Kirin Cup match days later against Wales, of which we have unfortunately no footage. The one other game for which Japan used Equipment that we know of – before going backwards somewhat by adopting the trefoil shirt that would later also be seen with Puma and Asics branding – was a unofficial friendly against Juventus on 17 August 1992:

The fact that this kit wasn’t around for long is a shame, as it’s a great version. This was partly thanks to the delicious yellow numbering front and back, which were easily distinguishable over the white bars:

Kenya:

2021 update – Thanks to Football Shirt World for alerting us to this one.

We only have one blurry match to go off of for Kenya’s run in Adidas Equipment. Like several other African teams it came late, with this World Cup qualifier away to Nigeria taking place on 7 June 1997:

As can be just about made out, the name of the country is across the front. The one other distinguishing feature of the kit is the socks, the many stripes of which indicating that they were not Adidas-made:

Knock-Offs:

2021 update – Thanks to Football Shirt World for alerting us to several of these.

It became apparent that so many smaller countries used imitation Equipment designs that the genre deserved its own entry. Ethiopia were already in an USA inspired version by 1992, not really matching their pan-African flag crest (check out that amazing RVD-esq goalkeeper top too). In 1993, Sudan wore an interesting one which could have easily been an Ireland knock-off from the time. Mauritius used a less-adventurous red and white colourway for a 1994 strip, and Cook Islands, with an amazing backdrop for a squad photo, could be seen in white and black bars in 1996. From a tiny nation to one of the biggest, India had a slightly different but clearly Equipment-influenced white and red strip in 1997, seen here versus Pakistan. And like D.R. Congo in the real thing that same year, New Caledonia kept the template unofficially going in 1998 in what seems to be their silver and red away kit.

Philippines and Syria also wore unofficial versions, but see their entries in Part 3 for those.

Malaysia:

2021 update – Thanks to Football Shirt World for alerting us to this one.

Like Kenya, we only have one game for Malaysia in which there is Adidas Equipment footage – at home to Kuwait in a World Cup qualifier on 1 May 1993:

Their traditional yellow and black colourway in is brilliant in the template, giving off a very Dynamo Dresden vibe:

Along with a flag-for-crest crest, the shirt is also special in other ways not visible in our pics. Better-viewed here, the trefoil (not Equipment logo) is placed within the first shoulder bar and the collar is round-neck rather than the v-neck of everyone else. Simply amazing.

This kit was used over a couple of years and accompanied by a white and blue away strip that was nearly as nice as the home, again thanks to FootballShirtWorld for this evidence.

Nigeria:

Nigeria were another team with one of the briefer Equipment runs. Having last used Erima earlier in 1993, the only footage of a full Equipment kit being worn is from a World Cup qualifier at home to Ivory Coast on 25 September:

The blurry clip doesn’t do the shirt justice, which can be seen better here with it’s large central crest and vertical “NIGERIA” down the side.

Perhaps better known than the above strip is the fact that the Adidas trefoil design based on the Yugoslavia 1990 template, used back at the 1992 African Cup of Nations and throughout that year, made a return for Nigeria, but with the differently-shaded and branded shorts and socks of the Equipment kit. This combination was worn in the next game on 8 October 1993, the final Word Cup qualifier away to Algeria, before their World Cup finals gear would be introduced in 1994 for the next African Cup of Nations:

Oman:

2021 update – Thanks to Football Shirt World for alerting us to this one.

More blurry evidence here, the blurriest yet in fact with Oman’s red and white Adidas Equipment strip barley eligible through during their opening World Cup 94 qualifier against Iran on 23 June 1993:

With not much footage of Oman in action from the time, this is the only way we can show them wearing the home version:

The one other available video of them playing during the campaign, away to Syria on 4 July 1993, thankfully recorded the use of the white version of the kit:

***

Click here for Part 1 or here for Part 3.

YouTube Links:

See Part 1

*****

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