What would you like banned from kits?

Friend of the site Andy Burton (from Kit Classics) emailed me recently with a list of things he’d like to see banned from being worn on the pitch:

1. Gloves for outfield players (with or without short sleeves!)
2. ‘Polo’ necks/scarves under shirts.
3. Long sleeved undershirts with short sleeved shirts (nightmare with stripes!)
4. Socks taped up covering most of the lower part of the sock.
5. Tights under shorts!!

I have to say I agree with most of them. Surely by now we can produce kits that don’t require this extra customisation (special limited edition winter versions anyone?)

I personally am glad the trend of rubbing Vicks Vapor-Rub on shirts has ended, and I also think tournament sleeve patches could be scaled down in size (or removed altogether!)

Just wondered if anyone else has any football kit related pet hates you’d like to see abolished?

76 Replies to “What would you like banned from kits?

  1. I never like it when players turn up their collar Cantona style. i always feel the ref should have a word – kind of disrespects the team colours i feel!

  2. no.3 is a pet hate and the sock tape,can i add coloured boots? whats wrong with black boots? adidas world cups or puma kings anyone? and alice bands for long haired players!! and socks pulled over the knees? its not Fame!!

  3. Not thought of any yet, but sadly I have to burst your bubble John…Vapour Rub is still out there! Saw it on someone the other day. Totally agree though, it looks vile…either uber sweaty or like they sneezed all over themselves!

  4. John – I’d forgotten about coloured boots! I HATE that and am surprised the powers that be haven’t clamped down on it.

    Rich – I can’t believe Vicks is still out there! Does it really make such a difference?

    Mike – you are a genius – ha ha, a classic pic of Tevez, as you quite rightly point out, committing ALL the crimes listed in the original post!

    Plus, it wasn’t that long ago that there was a rule about players tucking their shirt in. If memory serves not doing it was a bookable offence!

  5. So thats what that was? Vapour Rub? Damn, I think without even meaning to you solved an existential question that had been bothering me for years! 😛

    -On the list, well gloves dont bother me much
    -The second is perhaps the worst. Just look at Tevez in that pic Mike posted, looks like crap….
    -I actually like the long sleeve undershirt over a short sleeve kit, and even Umbro has taken that and applied it for their “tailored” line. For example, Universitario in Perú doesnt have long sleeve kits, if its cold they have special baselayer.
    -Sock Tape… couldn’t care less!
    -Tight under shorts, not a maaajor football fashion crime, but I hate it if, for example, you are wearing white shorts and you have bright blue tights underneath!

    One thing that bothers me is when players “customize” their kits, like when they cut off the polo collar or players cut part of the sleeves or something….

    Trust me, Ive seen Caceres do it with the Uruguay NT http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/91896586/AFP or look up any Uruguay 0 Argentina 1 pics and youll see him…

  6. John…from my own experience of using Vicks (mostly while sitting down), I’d say it makes almost no difference at all…especially not smeared on the shirt! Why don’t they just carry a pillow with them? 😉 speaking of breathing things, has anyone seen any nasal strips around of late? They seemed to start and end with Robbie Fowler (ironic if you believe what the tabloids said about his nasal habits)…

  7. In my humble opinion wear the kit however you want ie shirt in or out, socks up or down, but without adornments like over socks, gloves, scarves, hats, long sleeved/legged undergarments etc. PS Did George Best ever play with his shirt tucked in?

  8. Players aren’t supposed to wear smears of vapour rub on their shirts as it could get onto the ball and susbequently into a players eye, another health and safety edict the ref’s have to worry about!

  9. Tape around socks bothers me greatly, especially when the other team is wearing white socks. Maybe the tape manufacturers can make a bob or two by coming up with tape that matches the sock colour.

  10. I think manufacturers should be limited to one logo per garment (ie shirt, shorts, each sock) as with Adidas or Le Coq Sportif for example. I think three Puma logos on some current shirts is distracting, and why on earth is the Adidas logo placed on the back of the shorts as with Chelsea, I don’t get that at all.

  11. I have to say that I’m not a fan of having the sponsor’s name on the back of the shirt, or worse, on shorts!

  12. Something I can understand to a degree, but really dislike, is the directives from Fotball Assocaiations to leave gaps all over the kits for numbers and patches etc. The newcastle kit seems all wrong from the back and the Celtic strip in Europe is dreadful looking.

    I also dislike numbers on the front. It seems kit manufacturers struggle to tastefully find a place for these on kits. I know adidias leave their marque in the middle under the collar to leave space on the left hand side, but then the numbers are also put in the middle! Or it’s a club kit which doesnt need numbers on the front. Just looks imbalanced and ill thought out

  13. Completley agree with the base layer under the short sleeve top. Just wear the long sleeve kit.
    I like the Arsenal policy of the captain picking whether they all wear long or short sleeves.
    Keepers wearing tracksuit bottoms should be banned.

  14. haha! Totally agree, when have you ever seen a good keeper wear trackies?

    French keepers seem to love them…trackies and punching the ball instead of catching it, they can’t get enough of that.

  15. Totally agree Jonny, re the patches left all over kits. Can’t stand to see striped shirts with huge circles etc on the back…looks 10 times worse on a numberless replica as well. One thing I do like is the standardised numbering / lettering on shirts…The Premiership’s version is very clean and legible…before they were standardised, all the kits had whatever they wanted and it usually looked a mess. That said, the Football League’s font is godawful! Giant, garish things…the league has enough of an image problem at times without adding to it!

  16. As someone who is a sports reporter, I have to say that I’m all for patches on the back for numbers!

    There is overkill though on FIFA/UEFA’s part, if a team has stripes of two dark colours, eg Barcelona, Inter, AC Milan, then there shouldn’t be a need for it as the colour is a light colour

  17. The continued butchering of striped, hooped and halved kits by the rather silly “number clarity” rule loved by UEFA and to some extent FIFA but loathed by everyone else. Striped kits that had contrasting colours usually had a patch behind the number, but UEFA’s rules in European competition I agree are complete overkill, and it’s spread to domestic football as well.

    UEFA once stated the rule was due to television, but I don’t recall many commentators and viewers having problems picking out numbers on older television sets, particularly those watching Celtic before the 90’s when they didn’t have numbers on the shirts at all!!!

    Take for instance, the other night I was watching the Juventus v Fulham match, and it was as if Juventus were wearing plain white from behind. Now for many years, particularly the 90’s when I used to watch a lot of Serie A football (thanks to Channel 4 during my teen years!), Juve always had a black “patch” neatly fitting between the stripes with the number in it, which was absolutely fine, but the kit they wore the other night looked disfigured.

    Thankfully the issue hasn’t been applied any more to dark coloured stripes like Barça and Inter, though I couldn’t help but notice Shakhtar Donetsk’s orange and black striped kit looked black at the back the other week, and worse, their keeper was in a charcoal grey which in dimmer floodlights looked like black anyway (causing a bad colour clash).

    Agree with front numbers on international shirts too – what purpose are they for exactly? Having seen a number of the new national team shirts recently I have to say the positioning of the front numbers really spoils them – e.g. USA and Turkey’s new Nike kits.

  18. Definitely socks pulled up over the knees. Some of the other examples do have a practical purpose but for the life of me I can’t find one for this!

    Also, someone else mentioned players “customising” their kit. It really bugs me when you see goalkeepers cutting the sleeves off long sleeve shirts! With the amount of money the kit manufacturers plow into the game, surely if a keeper prefers a short sleeve shirt, he only has to ask! Abbiati seems to be the worst, it looks like he has cut them off with a pair of nail scissors!

  19. Interesting one Andy – I remember Vinnie Jones trimming a couple of inches off his Chelsea shorts in the early 90s. This was when longer shorts came back into fashion.

  20. Thanks for the response! I’d forgotton about socks pulled over the knees (a la John Terry). White boots always bother me. Is it me or do they make feet look bigger?! Must take excpetion to the notion that no good ‘keeper wore tracky bottoms – Gabor Kiraly 🙂 but then I am biased. I remember Craig Bellamy used to cut the collar off his Newcastle shirt. As for under shirts/shorts/tights..will it come to the point where kits will be ‘all in one’ I shudder at the thought!

  21. Didn’t Cameroon already try that and it got banned by FIFA? 1st they did the sleeveless shirt (or vest as it’s known 😉 ) and then they did one where the shorts and shirt were one garment…or am I just imagining this?

  22. i’d also have a word with uefa/fifa with regard to this all one colour kit business…france wear blue,white ,red not all blue!

  23. 1. Gloves for outfield players (with or without short sleeves!)
    2. ‘Polo’ necks/scarves under shirts.

    Above are a Big NO NO

    I don’t have a prob with the under garments if they are designed to blend in with the shirt. if they are at least the same colour as the shirts predominant colour then that’s not too bad. I don’t notice them to be fair.

    Sock tape should be same colour as area it is covering.
    If tights are required in the case of injury then fair enough but a player regularly wearing them as a fashion statement i don’t agree with.

    sponsorship taking over a shirt like the french league is just wrong

  24. On that Cameroon one piece kit. You’d hardly know the shirt was one piece. blatter being a dick to small nations again. Hand balls allowed to the big nations but no one piece kit please.

  25. Wow, some paranoia there David. The law stating players should wear seperate shirts and shorts has been around since time immemorial, not a recent addition to ‘be a dick to small nations’. It was nothing but a gimmick by Puma anyway, two back to back law breaking kits as a publicity stunt.

    Socks over knees irritates me no end, two Hull City players do that and it’s like they’re imitating Tokyo schoolgirls.

    Long sleeved undershirts under shorts sleeve shirts aggravates too.

    Makers branding being given more prominence than club/national crests is out of order.

    The best thing about Hull City’s promotion to the Premier League was the end of back of shirt sponsors. Leeds having an asbestos removal firm on their arses amused me however.

  26. Oh and I’m tired of every shirt being advertised as 7% lighter than the last one, if this was true, players would be wearing bodypaint rather than shirts by now.

  27. My biggest, biggest pet hate is long-sleeved undergarments. I’ve even created a pretentious phrase to describe its negative effect – it ‘compromises the visual integrity of the shirt’! Ha ha!
    In all seriousness, l/s undergarments look terrible with many combinations; shirts with different coloured bands at the ends of the sleeves; adidas-branded shirts and of course, striped shirts. I hate seeing Sunderland/Stoke players with red or white undergarments, it looks awful.
    Why can’t we have a regulation, similar to the one enforcing bike shorts are the same colour as shorts?

  28. what i meant is Les, while your spot on the kit rule might be in the book since the beginning of time, but that FIFA clamp down on pretty trivial things while not dealing with the critical aspects of the game, goal line technology,etc. they are in my opinion a joke organisation but enough of them.
    On Nicks point , a guy came on for the Tipperary footballers the other day wearing a red undergarment under a predominately royal blue shirt. so long as they are the same colour

  29. what i meant is Les, while your spot on the kit rule might be in the book since the beginning of time, but that FIFA clamp down on pretty trivial things while not dealing with the critical aspects of the game, goal line technology,etc. they are in my opinion a joke organisation but enough of them.
    On Nicks point , a guy came on for the Tipperary footballers the other day wearing a red undergarment under a predominately royal blue shirt. so long as they are the same colour i have no problem with undergarments personally.

  30. I think we’ll be waiting a while for the GAA to regulate things like that David, they’d have to sort all the colour clashes first!

  31. Just thought of another, sweatbands in a players national colours, eg Eboue and Song at Arsenal and Chimbonda at Blackburn.

  32. Bit extreme Andrew. These guys take pride in their countries, whats wrong with that? would you have objection to one of your international players wearing them at club level? We have a few players that don’t want to play for Ireland so seeing one willing to wear a sweatband with the green white and gold would be a welcome

  33. No sorry David, when they are on club duty I don’t care about where they are from.

  34. Igor Stimac style! Terry Phelan, former Ireland, Man City and Wimbledon defender, used to just tuck the stockings tops inside the stockings!

  35. I have to say that the Belt effect on the sorts of some of the new Puma shorts are awful

  36. todays liverpool kit was awful,i have to say.what is wrong with white or yellow? from a happy United fan.

  37. i hate the patches on the back of the shirts. i am a celtic fan and i think its pathetic that we look like real madrid from behind as this celtic team are woeful. i also hate the longsleeve undergarments. however i think i europe all teams should wear their national badge on their shirt. like south africa have two badges, the same should be done to club shirts i think

  38. The South African thing is a political sop/compromise I’m afraid. ALL SA national sports teams HAVE sport the protea flower, the rugby team even had to move their famous springbok along.

  39. Re #44, if you watch Invictus you’ll see that only for Nelson Mandela the Springbok would have been totally done away with, not sure how historically accurate it is though!

  40. 1. Gloves for outfield players (with or without short sleeves!)
    I don’t mind this actually, you don’t want to see your players screwing up a throw in now do you cos of numbness or something?

    2. ‘Polo’ necks/scarves under shirts.
    I hate this with a passion – BAN THEM. England is NOT that cold, scotland or scandanavia, sure, but premiership? no!

    3. Long sleeved undershirts with short sleeved shirts (nightmare with stripes!)
    Don’t mind this as long as the colours blend properly with the kit colours – like sky blue for villa (ash young, etc).

    4. Socks taped up covering most of the lower part of the sock.
    hehe don’t mind this, not a fan of it tho – im guessing ppl use it to either look cool (not) or prevent blisters

    5. Tights under shorts!!
    OI i wear short tights under my shorts, it makes my muscles feel much better during games…but the trouser tights make u look…well, gay? considering if your supposed to look like a professional footballer….

  41. my current gripe is the break in the adidas sleeve stripes to accommodate tournament patches. On the players’ kits I think it’s fine but on replica kits it’s not.

  42. Agree that most of these customised items are annoying. The coloured boots thing started creeping in during the mid-90s i recall and are now so ubiquitous that when i saw someone wearing a good old pair of black boots the other week I had to do a double take as it looked odd amongst all the rainbow shades! Not modern but a particular hate of mine as a young kid was the Leeds sock tabs. Totally unnecessary, manufactured item that was the forerunner to developments being discussed here. I hated about these items and they appeared arrogantly self-regarding a bit like Leeds at the time! A good marketing ploy by a commercially aware and astute Revie though to be fair.

  43. This Pascal Chimbonda photo is interesting: http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/10_02/chimbonda1110_468x742.jpg

    Are they sweatbands over the tape on his socks? He must have really cold knees too as he’s got his socks over them – on top of a pair of tights. The natty ensemble is finished with a lovely warm pair of gloves too. Surely he could have tracked down some white ones though…

    I completely agree with Jon and others about the butchering of striped and hooped shirts as well.

    Another thing that bugs me is the lower-case lettering used by some teams and in some competitions – last year’s UEFA Cup, I think every team wore them. I did note that both of Manchester United’s Champions League final victories came against teams that wore lower case lettering though. Sadly, I don’t think any of the remaining teams are wearing them this season.

  44. Another thing that bugs me in particular with french teams is the way they pick completely nontraditional colours for Europe just out of the blue. Bordeaux who is famous for their navy shirt with white chevron playing in red/white stripes against Olympiakos who dont even clash against them. To make it more confusing Olympiakos went from their traditional candy stripes to play in navy. Lyon never seem to have fixed home colours. grey one season, red the next, white the next, navy the next, make yer mind up would ye!

  45. Hadn’t realised that about Les Girondins Denis. Long as i can remember they always had navy with white chevron but it seems to be a recent thing according to that link. It would seem the chevron is more their signature then the colours perhaps. it seems to be a thing with France. Alot to do with the club presidents id say. An extension of their own Gallic ego’s. In the case of Stade Francais anyway, the president came up with the brainwave that his team would look good in pink jersey and a flower pattern jersey. perhaps its psychology, leading your opponent into a false sense of security, i honestly dunno.

  46. No, you are correct that they had navy and white for longer, I was just using those years to show that the dark red was not a totally new colour scheme either!

  47. Ian – totally agree with the Puma belt buckle thingys – what are they thinking?! Jason, unless there is a change in policy I fear we have seen the last of complete adidas sleeve stripes. FIFA’s rules state that there must be a clear area for the tournament patch etc to sit it.

  48. FIFA seem to be rather hell-bent on killing off tradition with football kits in the name of some really not-so-well thought out laws.

    Some of the kit laws they have introduced are done for the purposes of television, but sorry to burst their bubble but that, along with UEFA’s anti-stripes thing is just complete nonsense. Years ago I had no problem picking teams out on a bog-standard 21″ television set, so whats the issue now, with a lot of armchair fans watching the game in HD?

    Several traditional national team kits have been spoiled because of FIFA’s strange policies – we’ve seen some of this in the 2006 World Cup before, such as Brazil having to wear white shorts with their usual kit (white shorts just doesn’t look right with yellow shirts for some reason for me), against Japan who were asked to change their usual white shorts for a pair of blue ones. UEFA aren’t innocent either, check out the Austria v Poland game from Euro 2008 where it appeared both teams swapped shorts before kick-off?

    The leaving the clear area for tournament patches is a misnomer too, I mean, why have patches in the first place, everyone knows its the World Cup?! No doubt Adidas are secretly unhappy about this.

    As for those French clubs, I’m still baffled as to why they wear totally contrasting colours to their usual club colours in the Champions League. Mind you the Germans aren’t innocent – Bayern Munich decided to nominate their white third kit as their first choice strip, though when they played Man U in the first leg of the quarter-final last week they wore their usual home kit (red).

  49. Totally agree Jon, I was surprised too when I saw Bayern wearing red in the home leg. The FIFA rule re shorts and socks clashing has gotten so bad now that Italy’s new kit has the blue shorts as the first choice, and Brazil with white shorts is terrible.

    I can recall them playing Chile in WC 98 and 02 (I think) with yellow-blue-white, it looked terrible!

  50. Great post as ever Jon. I think many of these rules are outdated and some just plain daft. I always remember the light shirt vs dark shirt rule was in place due to the World Cup appearing on black and white TVs in underdeveloped countries – I guess the rule was there to include everybody. But now it is just not relevant. I always under the impression from Nike that the rules were going to the extreme in the WC and that no part of one kit can clash with another – ie a team with white socks would need to change if they were playing a team with white shirts. But now I’m not sure as this doesn’t seem to be the case – and I can’t seem to get a straight answer on it.

    Agree with you too about sleeve patches – I don’t see the point. These superfluous devices are leading to plainer shirts to accommodate the patches – maybe its not a bad thing after all! But I do feel sad that we will probably never see complete adidas three-stripes, or Umbro diamond trim (or taping as its officially known) again.

    Finally, I HATE the random colour schemed ‘home’ shirts that crop up in the CL. Totally pointless. If I was a fan of one of those sides and they just happened to win the tournament I’d want them to be in their traditional colours (or failing that their regular away kit) not some other strip.

  51. I remember Brazil wore their usual combination against Chile in WC98 (Chile wore white shorts and blue socks), but the other game was against Costa Rica, where Brazil wore white shorts and blue socks, and it looked rather odd.

    FIFA have lost touch with footballing reality, where is the consultation with fans and players on the issues regarding playing kit? The only rules should be the basic stuff, i.e. if the shirt colours are too similar then the away team changes, or decided on a toss of coin for matches in a neutral venue. And don’t get me started on the news that England are wearing red shorts with their away kit in the World Cup – yet another resemblance to a certain country to the west it shares a border with? And there’s me thinking their white shorts with red stripes on the side made their supposed 1966 away kit look more like the Welsh kit of the same era!!!

    Going back to the random colours at home in the Champions League nonsense, I’ve noticed Lyon have worn about 6 different “home” kits in Europe over the last few years – red, navy, black, silver, fluorescent yellow, blue – what next, gold? Certainly Marseille wore gold in last year’s Champions League, and prior to that they had a eyeball searing fluorescent orange and sky blue combination. And aside from the inclusion of this season’s “duct tape grey” strip, they have also worn black, navy and powder blue in the past.

    They should take a note from Barcelona, who despite winning the 1992 European Cup in their orange away kit, their players swapped their jerseys for the usual blue and red for going up to receive the trophy.

  52. I have seen a red pair of shorts with white stripe (opposite of what was worn v Egypt), I presumed they were an alternative pair but you never know…

  53. Ahh what is it with Italian kit manufacturers and enormous logos? Kappa, Lotto, Macron and Legea are all very guilty of this.

  54. The gold Kappa logos are shocking! Other than that I don’t mind the Pompey kit but I hate the fact they are wearing it now. Last game of season, OK. But in the Cup semi-final?! I think they are switching back to Canterbury for the end of the season but its a bit like leaving your wife to have a quick affair then returning again as if nothing has happened!! I don’t get it!

  55. i liked the pompey kit too bar the gold logos,what do canterbury think of this one game flirtation with kappa? i’m not keen on that last game of season unveiling of new kits either,save it for the new season.

  56. They went into administration last July but the European arm of the company got bought out by JD Sports the following month as far as I know.

    Pompey have signed a five year deal with Kappa to be their kit supplier from next season, but the one-off kit they wore on Sunday is a real curiosity. The only reason I can think of is that with the club being stricken financially they may have had a offer from Kappa to showcase the kit in the cup semi-final in exchange for a much-needed cash injection. Now that Pompey made it through to the FA Cup final, I wouldn’t be surprised if the kit made another appearance.

    As far as switching back to Canterbury for the rest of the season is concerned, I think it’s due to Premier League rules, which I think state that new kits cannot be used until the final home game of the season. It’s a different matter in the FA Cup, where I don’t think such rules on kits exist, particularly as I’ve seen teams from the lower divisions and outside the league wearing different manufacturers from one round to the next, as long as the registered home colours remain the game. Don’t quote me on that being the case though, it’s going from very scratchy memory!!!

  57. Jon, thats a very well thought out and plausible answer, I reckon you’re right on all counts. The PL certainly have that rule in place and of course this wouldn’t matter in the Cup (although I think it should to be fair, its certainly not a good impression to be switching kit suppliers mid-season and opens the door to special Cup kits).
    Pompey wore Canterbury against Wigan.

  58. “Now that Pompey made it through to the FA Cup final, I wouldn’t be surprised if the kit made another appearance.”

    Or, given that Chelsea also wear blue, it could be an opportunity for a one-off Portsmouth change kit, should they lose the toss.

    Or am I just gone too cynical?!

  59. I totally forgot about the toss for who gets to wear blue.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Pompey wear a Kappa kit in the final, regardless of the result of the toss, whether it be yet another one-off kit or a preview of next season’s away kit.

    We’ll have to wait and see.

  60. Call me old fashioned, I prefer the word traditionalist but I would love to see goalkeepers in green shirts again and wearing the same shorts and socks of their team mates. Home International keepers in yellow shirts once more, was almost like a status symbol at one time wasn’t it? I spent the whole of my playing days between the sticks and glad I didn’t have to wear some of the weird and dreadful stuff goalkeepers have to put up with today. Wether its accident or planned, I notice the Fulham keeper kit these days tends to be green shirt, black shorts and white socks, how refreshing!

  61. I hate to see these ridiculous undershorts being worn by more and more players. How namby-pamby, whatever happened to real men?

  62. I feel we’re going to see more and more of them though Scott. Look at the Brazil side in the WC? Robert, totally agree! I’ve thought this for a long time and don’t like the special goalies kits that came in the late 80s. Good call.

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