Unveiling of new Ireland home kit sparks backlash online

Ireland Football FAI
Ireland recently unveiled their new kit, made by Castore. Photo by

The FAI-Castore collaboration has drawn criticism for its new minimalist design

By Niamh McNamara

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) unveiled the latest edition of its international football kit to the public this week, ahead of Ireland’s games against Latvia and France in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The kit has sparked debate on social media, with many ridiculing the design as something out of Penneys, while a number have rushed to defend the kit as something different.

This latest offering, in somewhat of a novel move, has been designed by Manchester-based manufacturer, Castore, which also makes kits for Rangers Football Club in Scotland.

The new home kit features a deep green body interspersed by narrow white and orange pinstripes, anchored by a white chevron-style collar with green and orange detailing.  

Sean Kavanagh, FAI Commercial Director, commented on the unveiling of the kit, saying: “It is very important that they (Ireland football fans) have a jersey which represents (their) passion and that they are proud to wear, and we believe this jersey delivers this.”

Despite the colour differences, many have pointed out the striking similarity the kit has to the alternative kit worn by Scottish football club, Rangers.

Users branded the new home kit as “a copy of a Rangers jersey in green”- something neither the FAI nor Castore likely intended with this design.

The kit is also the first to feature the new FAI logo, which was revealed during the week, causing similar debate, with many branding the crest as “rubbish”, and “too simplistic”.

Some even found the unveiling to be a source of humour online, with a number of comparisons being made to counterfeit Ireland kits, as well as offerings found in Aldi’s famous “Middle Aisle”. 

The FAI drew also criticism following its dissolution with former partner Umbro, as it was believed that this provided a “golden opportunity to support a uniquely Irish designer like O’Neills”, rather than the UK-based manufacturer Castore.

Despite the seemingly overwhelming rejection of this latest offering, the opinion was not entirely unanimous, with a number of users coming out in favour of the kit.

One user referred to the jersey as “tidy”, with others thanking Castore for the new design.

Pascal Lafitte, Director of Partnerships at Castore said: “We look forward to seeing the new Ireland range worn both on and off the pitch in this new era for Irish football.”

The kit will be worn by the national team for the first time in Dublin on Wednesday in their exhibition match against Latvia.

Pre-orders for the jersey are now available, with adult jerseys costing €80 and kids’ tops costing €65. 

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