Browse all

Does it make sense for national teams to have a third jersey?

Undoubtedly surprising news

Does it make sense for national teams to have a third jersey? Undoubtedly surprising news

These days, various newspapers are bouncing the news that FIFA has implicitly asked all national teams to introduce a third kit in order to avoid colour problems during matches. The news is undoubtedly surprising because hardly any national team had ever thought of creating an alternative third kit, both because logistically there has never been a need for a third jersey and because after all, national teams do not play so many matches during the year as to justify the introduction of a new kit. But despite this, here is what the world football governing body has recommended: "Pursuant to Article 6.2.5. of the FIFA Equipment Regulations, "each team is encouraged to have an alternative second kit in a different colour or colours from both the first choice kit and the alternative first kit." 

To date, the only national teams to have made three kits are: Canada, Denmark and Ecuador. But the real question that arises after this recommendation by the world's premier football body is whether the national teams really need a third kit to avoid problems during the World Cup but not only. In fact, at a time when many teams in agreement with their brands are making jerseys that can be used for two or more seasons, the exemplary cases being those of Como and Brentford, in order to limit the environmental impact that any production of garments requires, it seems almost out of place to ask a body that should be at the forefront when it comes to sustainability.

In recent years, in fact, FIFA has launched several environmental initiatives, most notably 'Football for the Planet initiatives': "the official environmental programme aimed at minimising the negative impact of activities and tournaments on the environment and using FIFA competitions as a tool to raise awareness of environmental issues. The main areas of the programme are waste, water, energy, transport, supply and climate change." Initiatives, however, that will fall on deaf ears, or almost, given that as the NGO Carbon Market Watch has reported, emissions from the World Cup in Qatar in November 2022 alone will be eight times higher than in Iceland alone in one year.

A recommendation that will hopefully fall on deaf ears, even if it is true that on the one hand it could be a good opportunity for brands to experiment more and create designs and patterns that will remain in the memory of every fan, but it is certainly another good opportunity to put an end to unnecessary releases and that during a competition like the World Cup would risk being used only once, just as Napoli did with its 13 jerseys in the previous season.