The Warriors did not wear an Umbro branded kit in their final game of the 2019 Afcon qualifiers against Congo on Sunday, and this raised eyebrows whether the English sportswear supplier was committed to the deal with Zifa.
Umbro signed a multi-year contract, which covered all national teams, with the association early this March and promised to bring the kits before the Young Warriors’ game in Mozambique on Friday but the delivery was only made later that day.
The senior team was now likely to officially unveil the new kit on Sunday but opted to use unbranded yellow shirts and green shorts.
The reason to ditch Umbro in this encounter was not explained until Robson Sharuko, a veteran sports reporter with Herald, revealed what had happened behind the scenes.
Following the release of images of the home jersey, there were huge concerns about the design as several fans were not happy with red stripes which they feel were not reflecting the traditional kit. This brought a tense debate with others even declaring that they will not buy the replica jerseys.
As such, according to Sharuko, the Zifa board then decided against taking the risk of using an unfamiliar design in a big game.
The truth mate is the kit arrived on Friday night, ready 4 use but there were huge concerns within the Zifa board it wasn’t reflective of our traditional kit and 4 such a huge game they couldn’t take the risk of using a kit the fans didn’t identify with
— Robson Sharuko (@Chakariboy) March 25, 2019
But the Young Warriors might still use this new Umbro kit in today’s second leg game against Mozambique at National Sports Stadium.