Some criticize Nike World Cup kits as bland


Nike on Thursday released the United States’ World Cup kits, including a predominantly white design for home games that drew criticism from two American players and some fans in advance.

The home shirts have red and blue stripes on each sleeve, similar to the stripes on either side of the Americans’ 2002 World Cup jerseys.

“We’re just as angry as you all!!!” Forward Tim Weah wrote last month after a version of the home kit was posted online.

“I tried to tell them,” wrote midfielder Weston McKennie.

The light blue away kit features an ice dyeing technique that resembles a tie-dye pattern.

More than 100 people have signed an online petition on calling for different designs.

“I rate it mid-table,” American midfielder Yunus Musah said during a conference call Aug. 25. put his right thumb sideways. “It’s not there,” he said, giving a thumbs up and then flipping to a thumbs down, “or there. It’s the middle.”

Donald Wine, a national board member of the American Outlaws fan group, said he will likely buy one of the new jerseys but hoped Nike and the US Football Association would take criticism into account in future designs. According to Wine, fans prefer a more distinctive look that the team could become known for, such as Croatia’s adoption of a checkerboard pattern.

As an example, Wine cited the red and white horizontal stripes of the 2012-13 US jersey, which became known as Waldo after the character’s clothing in a children’s book.

“The outcry isn’t necessarily related to the design of the kit, or at least the lack of a home kit design, but to the fact that many people are looking for a kit identity to call their own,” Wine said. “I’m one of those people who has long campaigned for Team Waldo to make it a permanent national team jersey. I think in the end people just want one shirt identity and they don’t.”

Aaron Barnett, Nike Global Football Apparel senior product director, said Rolando Cruz, the apparel product line manager, coordinated the design with the USSF.

“We know our products are always going to get a reaction,” Barnett said. “We have developed products for several sports, not just football. And so we’re going to have some athletes who are very excited about it and some who aren’t excited about it. And that’s the balance you always carry with you.”

The USA are back at the World Cup for this year’s tournament in Qatar after failing to qualify for 2018. The Americans open against Wales on November 21

Barnett said that most of the jersey manufacturing takes place in Asia. He said he didn’t know if the workers making the kits were unionized.

Nike took over the role of USSF kit supplier in 1995 from Adidas, which had supplied uniforms since 1973. The USSF announced a long-term renewal with Nike last November, without specifying a length.

Nike on Thursday released the kits of 12 of its 13 World Cup teams: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, France, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The company delayed the announcement of the English designs until September 21 following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Adidas supplies seven – Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Wales – and Puma supplies six – Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Serbia, Switzerland and Uruguay.

New Balance has Costa Rica and Panama, while four brands each have an Errea (Iceland), Hummel (Denmark), Marathon (Ecuador) and Majid (Iran).

Defending champions France have kits inspired by Toile de Jouy fabrics, which feature subtle prints of famous landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, Vernon’s old mill and a Romanesque tower