Click here for Part 1, including Intro, Overview and YouTube links, or here for Part 2.
2021 update – Thanks to Football Shirt World for alerting us to this one.
As mentioned in the knock-offs section in Part 2, the Philippines seem to have worn an unofficial version of Equipment – at least one with no Adidas branding logos – in 1995 at least. Seen here at that year’s Southeast Asian Games against Myanmar on 4 December, the strip contained quite nice navy shirt and shorts with white red and white bars, but mismatching blue socks slightly takes away from the look:
A squad photo of the Philippines under-16 squad in 1996 shows that at least one Philippine team team wore an official Adidas Equipment kit, so it is possible that the senior team did too. But for now, we have no more footage or pics to go off.
To be honest, Poland are another side that we missed when this post originally went up. Thanks to POTP supporter Sam who commented to inform us that they wore an all-red version at home to England on 29 May 1993 – their one and only time it seems:
Having gone from an unidentified smaller brand in the previous fixture against San Marino, Poland decided on the rarely seen (for this design) centralised-crest for this sole Adidas outing, with Sweden the only long-term international user:
For the return game in England on 8 September 1993, the next match, Poland would be in Lotto, meaning they co-hold the record for shortest time using the template.
Another of the more obscure examples, Qatar was also like Nigeria in featuring the name of the country in large letters across their Equipment shirts – diagonally no less. A resplendent all-white version with maroon features was in use by at least a 16 April 1993 World Cup qualifier at home to Singapore:
The fetching colourway and interesting numbering also made this one eye-catching kit, and another combination was seen in the earlier-referenced World Cup qualifier versus Indonesia, held in Singapore, on 24 April 1993:
Qatar also used player names on the back, but unlike their opponents they chose to lower everything down to avoid the bars:
Delightfully for our want, a third kit-combination of all-maroon made an appearance against an all-white North Korea on 02 May 1993, again in Singapore:
Senegal were one of the last to don the three huge bars of Equipment, having worn an unknown brand in 1993 before changing to Adidas in 1994 for the African Cup of Nations. With no footage of their first game against Guinea, the Senegalese can be seen in an all-green kit for the next group match with Ghana on 31 March 1994, including arching “Senegal” letters under the front number:
Tournament player naming also appeared on the back:
Losing to Ghana but progressing in second place, Senegal came up against Zambia in the quarter-finals who were wearing a near-identical green kit. In response, Senegal wore a near identical kit to Zambia’s other strip of white and red, but again with the wordmark:
Although no further footage appears to exist online of Senegal games for the rest of the year, we do know that they were still using Equipment as late as the following summer thanks to this African Cup of Nations qualifier away to Tunisia on 15 July 1995:
2021 update – Thanks to Football Shirt World for alerting us to this one.
Thanks to FSW we know that Somalia used the template in blue and white, plus white star to represent their flag, sometime in the 90s, as seen here lining up in Kigali Stadium, Rwanda.
With Spain we have the only known examples of the template being used by a goalkeeper, Andoni Zubizarreta. In a green and black colourway, the first occasion seems to be a World Cup qualifier away to Albania on 22 September 1993:
On 13 October away to green-shirted Ireland another version was needed, this time employing grey tones:
And from when Zubizarreta got himself sent off during the last qualifier at home to Denmark on 17 November 1993, the green and black top can be seen one more clearly one last time:
It could be said that Sweden’s evolution toward Equipment began as far back as 1990, with a change of numbering style from their bordered World Cup 90 version to a very futuristic design with diagonal stripes in the top corner and a section at the bottom for a trefoil, as seen on their away strip while playing West Germany in a friendly on 10 October 1990:
With no qualifiers to take part in as upcoming hosts of Euro 92, the Swedes would have a lot more friendlies over the next two years. During a 6-0 throbbing of Austria in one of these on 1 May 1991, the numbering style can be seen more clearly on the home shirt which was still of their World Cup 90 template:
For the next game at home to Colombia on 6 June 1991, Sweden “upgraded” to the Adidas template “Anderlecht”, used by the Colombians themselves in 1990 (who were now, incidentally, in this odd rip-off version with no crest). In addition to it being a sort of proto-Equipment design, more futurism was also added with front numbers, making the Swedes seemingly the first nation in Europe to adopt them:
Sweden only wore this style for under a year, with an away game in Tunisia on 22 April 1992 being the last time. For the next friendly at home to Poland on 7 May, the Euros kit was revealed in the new Equipment style:
What made the Swedish version of the template unique (apart from Nigeria’s very brief run the following year) was the centralised crest. And like Bulgaria and Finland, the Adidas logo was in black rather than blue:
The numbers, meanwhile, had reverted back to the style seen at the 1990 World Cup, as extra logos there would be against the up-coming tournament rules:
Throughout the Euros, Sweden used the home kit only, seen here during the victorious group game against England on 17 June 1992:
The only difference to the warm-up friendlies strip was the addition of names on the back, which were boarded in yellow to nicely distinguish from the bars on the right side:
While the away strip wasn’t needed by the senior side that summer, and wouldn’t be used by them at all, the Olympic 92 squad thankfully did wear this delightful kit in their opening game against Paraguay in Barcelona on 26 July 1992:
Like how the yellow and blue home shirt featured a black Equipment logo, here it was white to create a perfect inversion:
The socks seemed to be a lighter shade of blue than the shirts, which was even more noticeable when all-blue was worn for a quarter-final defeat to Australia on 2 August 1992:
Back with the senior squad, the first World Cup 94 qualifier away to Finland on 9 September 1992 saw the removal of front-numbers:
The numbers swiftly returned for the next qualifier at home to Bulgaria 7 October 1992, plus the use of a long-sleeved jersey for the first time in this template:
Away to Israel on 11 November 1992 things get interesting, as short-sleeve shirts didn’t have a front-number…:
…but long-sleeve shirts did:
Also on the back, the number style changed. Now more like the 1990/91 style, but of course with Equipment logo instead of trefoil at the base:
This sponsored version of the shirt was also produced at the time, but we’re not sure for what game(s). When qualifiers resumed on 28 April 1993 with a trip to Paris to face France, once again all were without front-numbers:
On the back we get a far better look at that number style:
The kit remained unchanged for the next two games against Austria and Israel, before front-numbers made their return for a friendly at home to Switzerland on 11 August 1993:
But for the return qualifier against the French at home on 22 August 1993, they were gone again:
Then back, away to Bulgaria on 9 September 1993…:
…aaaand gone again, with long-sleeves, for the final group game away to Austria on 10 November 1993:
The Swedes continued to use Equipment into 1994, and with front-numbers for a USA-hosted “Joe Robbie Cup”. Against Colombia in Miami in the first game on 18 February 1994, finally an away element was incorporated by adding the blue socks to the home shirt and shorts, to counter the Colombian’s away kit (same reason as in 1991):
Coming up on two years since they first wore the kit, Sweden finally said goodbye to Equipment on 20 April 1994 away to Wales, and yes front-numbers were there:
2021 update – Thanks to Football Shirt World for alerting us to this one.
Syria were relatively early adopters of Equipment, at least the top half as the three bars can been seen on their red shirts while hosting Saudi Arabia at Arab Nations’ Cup on 9 September 1992:
Seen more clearly on this substitute, front-numbers were in the crest position:
Taking on Egypt in the final on 15 September 1992 – a losing effort on penalties – an all-red strip was worn:
More clearly visible here, this shirt actually featured a trefoil instead of an Equipment logo and was matched with Umbro shorts, making it one unique kit.
From the third-place playoff with Kuwait on 17 September 1992, the names on the back seen to have been on a patch that covered the bars, like Canada:
A couple of years later, another Syrian team has been recorded in a similar shirt, but with no Adidas logo so more than likely “unofficial”. For a AFC Youth Championship qualifier away to Saudi Arabia in 1994, the Syrian Youth team wore this red and silver version, including country name, and very low numbers on the back:
2021 update – We now know that UAE had actually used the template as early as 1992, thanks to this find by FootballShirtWorld.
The last of our Asian examples, the United Arab Eremites were in Equipment for their first World Cup 94 qualifier, hosted in Japan but against Sri Lanka, on 8 April 1993:
A nice all-white strip with long-sleeves, red features and front numbers was used…:
…but no names on the back. The numbers also featured some sort of logo on the their base::
The same kit was worn against Thailand, Bangledash and Japan in the coming days. But by 28 April 1993, when UAE took on Sri Lanka again, it was warm enough for short-sleeves. Evidentially this hadn’t been made available in the new template yet, so we get another example of generation-mashing with their old trefoil shirt returning to join the new-era shorts:
The same kit was worn versus Thailand on 30 April 1993…:
…versus Bangladesh on 3 May…:
…and versus Japan on 7 May 1993:
This was just a temporary setback though, as the equipment shirts later reappeared and were still around the following year when UEA took on Germany in a friendly on 27 April 1994. Despite being the home team, the Eremites chose to wear their all-red away strip to allow the German’s famous “schwarz und weiß” be seen in Abu Dhabi:
Before switching to the “Germans’ own” famous template from that year, UAE wore home Equipment at least one more time against European opposition with an away friendly in Switzerland on 6 September 1994:
2021 update: Although UAE would go on to wear a little-known, future generation of the Equipment design in 2001, we’re going to class that as technically a different template.
It is perhaps fitting that a team with one of the longest and most varied histories with Equipment represented the country preparing to host the biggest and most modern World Cup ever at time, with the bombastic branding an appropriate fit for America’s 1990s lunge at soccer. USA’s odyssey with the design began with a 1 June 1991 friendly at home to Ireland – the debut of the template by any team:
The amazing blue/red/blue bars and brand-new Adidas Equipment logo in black were joined by updated circular crest, adapted from the old shield seen at World Cup 90. Unlike the World Cup kit though, all-white was now standard:
On the back were some unremarkable numbers, positioned just below the touching point of the bars:
The kit was worn shortly afterwards in an unofficial glamour game against AC Milan on 16 June 1991:
From this we can see how skinny the numbers were with this #7:
At the 1991 Gold Cup a blue away kit was worn, here against Mexico on 5 July, but with a contrasting white collar style that was not used by anybody else afterwards:
New, larger numbers were also on show, bordered in blue to interject the white bars:
After the Milan game, Equipment was also on the scene for another interesting USA encounter in 1991 – the first, and to date only, meeting with North Korea on 19 October, played on an American football-marked field at Robert F Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington:
As well as the men, USA were also ahead in the fashion stakes at that winter’s women’s World Cup in China. Front-numbers were seen for the first time on the template thanks to this – massive ones at that – starting with the first game versus Sweden on 17 November 1991:
On the back, the huge numbers also meant the first iteration of the altered bars:
Later in the tournament – facing Germany in a semi-final on 27 November – a mash-up that would not be used by the men was seen. First, the away shirt was different to the Gold Cup version as the collar was not white, and created an interesting combination with the blue and red-bared white shorts:
At home to CIS on 25 January 1992 the men got their turn to wear blue again, now with blue collar also, but for some reason without a crest on the shirts:
At a second friendly with CIS on 2 February 1992, the crests thankfully showed up again:
Although blurry and in the background, here we can see a new “US World Cup Team” crest that debuted on 11 March 1992 away to Spain
The backs also display the shorted bar system by this stage:
Front-numbers, with subtle red borders like on the back, appeared by 4 April 1992 and a game against China:
Around this time, the US Olympic soccer team were also participating in the final stages of a pre-Olympic tournament to determine qualification for that summer’s Games in Barcelona. Away to Honduras on 26 April 1992, this selection wore an interesting combination of the home shirt – including front-numbers but not the new crest, naturally since this wasn’t really the World Cup preparation squad – with home socks, and some sort sort of maroon-red shorts:
The senior squad, meanwhile, looked forward to the inaugural U.S. Cup the following month. The first game ever in the competition – against Ireland on 30 May 1992 – gives us a better look at this iteration of the shirt:
The Olympic team did indeed qualify and took on Italy in their first group game on 24 July 1992. The footage doesn’t get any sort of look at it, but here you can see another updated crest with “US Olympic Team” rather than World Cup Team, and a blue Equipment logo rather than black. On the back, player names appeared for the first time:
For the third group game against Poland on 29 July 1992, a very Canadian all-red away strip was worn, with the goalkeeper in a pair of shorts taken from the regular blue away kit:
Again the numbers look quite large, with the previously-bordered areas made now white too:
Although this would seem to be an Olympic team special kit, as we can’t find an instance of use by the senior squad, oddly the shirt differed to the home Olympic shirt as it in fact displayed the “US World Cup Team” logo crest, not Olympic.
At what would later be known as the Confederations Cup, then the King Fahd Cup, USA participated with more slightly updated shirts. Against hosts Saudi Arabia on 15 October 1992, all-blue returned and was seen with front-numbers for the first time, while Equipment logos now appeared on the socks:
This was also the first time for the new crest to be used with blue, but in this case the “World Cup Team” was replaced simply by “Soccer” (better look here):
Like the Olympic kits though, there was again a lack of consistency between home and away crests as the white shirt featured the “World Cup Team” version, and also a blue “Olympic-style” Equipment logo. They can be seen here during the other King Fahd Cup game against the Ivory Coast on 19 October 1992.
A USA squad participated at that November’s Fustsal World Championships in Hong Kong and also wore the template, but with three blue shoulder bars rather than one in red. The full senior team the followed suit for the Kirin Cup away to Japan on 14 March 1993, also now with skinnier numbers no longer featuring a red border:
The shirt was already “very Finland”, and “full Finland” was achieved with the addition of blue shorts to the home gear for the first time in years:
Another bizarre combination appeared on 13 June 1993 against Germany, in another edition of the U.S. Cup. This time the home shirt and shorts were joined by blue away socks:
What made this odd and unnecessary was the fact that Germany were in their own green away socks, which looked very similar from a distance:
Unlike the previous year’s U.S. Cup, player names were now required for the back:
Continuing preparation for their most important World Cup ever on home soil the following year, USA accepted a position in another nearby tournament – the 1993 Copa America. The home kit was worn during defeats to Uruguay and Ecuador, before all-blue changed fortunes with a win over Venezuela on 22 June. This was similar to the King Fahd Cup away shirt, but now with a more distinguishable white “US” in the crest rather than red:
Despite the positioning of the numbers on the back indicating that names were expected above, none were needed in this competition:
After also competing a the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup during the Summer, USA traveled to Europe for a mini Nordic Tour in August and September. After first taking on Iceland, it was then Norway on 8 September and for this the Americans wore a new France-like away shirt of the “other” Equipment template. We’ll be getting to that template in another post of course, but the game is relevant here as USA still wore the accompanying shorts of the previous shirt:
Germany returned for another friendly on 18 December 1993, and again, bafflingly, the US decided to wear their away socks:
Thankfully, the Germans were ready this time and had their own white socks on hand to avoid the clash again:
This game is also the one other instance we have of a computer graphic representation of the template, via some complex replay analysis. As you can see, they didn’t do a great job here:
As 1994 came around and the World Cup drew closer – and with it, imminent rebranding – USA continued to use Equipment for a few games at the start of the year. Against Bolivia on 18 February, the blue V.1 away shirt returned from exile for its final outing:
And against South Korea on 12 March 1994, with the “World Cup stars” shirt set to make its debut in another Bolivian game later that month, USA wore the home Equipment kit for the final time. The era had lasted 1016 days:
As well as being last alphabetically, the Zambians were also among the last international adopters of Equipment (apart from the Cameroonian and Chinese once-offs). This is more than excusable considering that the majority of the then squad had been tragically killed in a plane crash in April 1993, after which the updating gear from trefoil-era probably wasn’t of the utmost priority. But by the African Cup of Nations of March/April 1994, Equipment was at last being worn, first with a basic white and red kit:
Although without a crest or country-name, the tournament norms of front-numbers and player names did appear:
The numbers on front and back were similar to that of Ireland and Sweden, with the small stripes on the left side:
After wearing the same against Sierra Leon, a green kit was used for the quarter-final clash with Senegal on 3 April 1994. This was essentially the same as what Nigeria had briefly worn in 1993, but again minus a crest:
For the semi-final against Mali, themselves in an interesting white and blue long-sleeved trefoil jersey, the all-green was again needed:
On the back we can see that the names were quite small and unintelligible from any distance – probably squashed down to fit under those bars again – plus those great stripes on the number font:
Making it to the final against white-stripped Nigeria on 10 April 1994, the luck of the green finally ran out for Zambia as they lost 2-1, ending the amazing run of this recently decimated squad:
The one other occasion that we definitely know Zambia wore Equipment is 10 May 1994, at a “Mandela Challenge” away to South Africa…:
…during which the CAN finalists got to meet the man himself, now without names on the back of the shirts:
Click here for Part 1 or here for Part 2.
[…] Click here for Part 1, including Intro, Overview and YouTube links, or here for Part 3. […]
[…] Click here for Part 2 or here for Part 3. […]
Who else wore that iconic Zambian keepers kit do you know? Great article.
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Cheers! And not sure who else wore the goalkeeper shirt, hadn’t seen it before, very nice one!