The Best Kits from the African Cup of Nations and Asian Cup

  • by

While many Americans have been swept up in the Taylor-Swift-Travis-Kelce-Super-Bowl hysteria, others have instead opted for the superior version of football, tuning in to the African Cup of Nations and the AFC Asian Cup. The two major tournaments were held simultaneously over the last month, with AFCON hosted by the Ivory Coast and the Asian Cup in Qatar. Both tournaments wrapped this past weekend, with the host nations winning each, respectively.

While the games and drama therein were, of course, the most important aspects of AFCON and the Asian Cup, the various kits sported by the countries participating in each were a close second. Seeing what sorts of kits each national team rolls out for these major tournaments is always a delight, with some in the past even transcending sportswear and making a splash in the greater fashion landscape.

So what of the kits that debuted in AFCON and the Asian Cup this year? I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites below.


Mali Away

As a proud maximalist, I’m predisposed to gravitate toward flamboyant and bold kit designs that don’t play it safe. The Mali Away jersey is, without a doubt, the splashiest of the AFCON bunch, and I’m not mad at it one bit!

Nigeria Home

The Nigerian Super Eagles have done it again with yet another stellar kit. Never shy of graphic patterns and textures, the Nigerian Home kit sticks to that trend and then some.

Tanzania Home

I enjoy the retro, classic flair to the Tanzania Home jersey, featuring a bulky yellow collar that reminds me of my first-ever soccer jersey as a kid in the ’90s. The subtle pattern in the blue fabric modernizes the otherwise vintage feel.

Algeria Home

The Algeria Home kit is simple yet striking, with three jagged teal stripes down the side. The asymmetrical stripes elicit movement and speed, but it doesn’t feel like the design is trying too hard, either.

Ivory Coast Home

I’m a sucker for Creamsicle orange, so I can’t help but put the Ivory Coast Home kit on my list. Puma is rightfully letting the color do the heavy lifting here, accenting it simply with crisp white trim and numbers.

Guinea-Bissau Home, Away, Third, and Fourth Kits

The entire kit line-up for Guinea-Bissau deserves some love! The designs act as a cohesive collection, though each is distinctly different. The geometric patterns on each at once allude to woven tapestry aesthetics and early-generation computer graphics.

AFC Asian Cup

China Away

The electric teal of China’s Away kit might be too reminiscent of toothpaste for some, but I’m here for it. Subtle polka-dots speckle the jersey, and the red-orange of the accents is an unexpected color pairing that pays off.

Jordan Away

It’s all about the sleeves for me when it comes to Jordan’s Away jersey. The rest is pretty pedestrian, but I like making a bold choice with one section of an otherwise traditional red kit.

Australia Home

Classic yet vibrant, Australia’s Home kit makes my list for the subtle dual-toned yellow pattern in the jersey and the always-charming kangaroo and emu coat of arms.

India Home

I’m a fan of this soothing blue hue of India’s Home kit, embellished with a subtle animal-print-like pattern for some visual intrigue. The red stitching is also a nice detail, which pops nicely in contrast to the blue.

South Korea Away

The South Korea Away kit is one of the most polarizing kits of both tournaments, but I support any jersey that starts a conversation. The abstract markings and color palette remind me of the carpeting at old movie theaters, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! In a world where derivative and cookie-cutter designs are all too common, it’s refreshing to see a kit that takes a big swing. Making contact with the ball is beside the point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.