Matchworn/Matchprepared Baffie Fofana 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship
A very small percentage of individuals may experience epileptic seizures when exposed to this shirt!
The 90’s: the decade when color theory was declared void and “fashion” was seemingly created by the visually impaired.
Fashion victims #1 were certainly the football players, who strode along the football pitches in oversized jerseys that resembled a drug frenzy gone wrong. Deemed “ugly” in the following decade, crazy 90s kits have become “cult” and fetch insane prices among collectors.
You don’t need to be a historian or a fashion expert to figure out in which decade this beauty (?) of a goalkeeper shirt was fabricated.
With a color combination that would even horrify a colorblind person, a pattern that’s somewhere between camouflage and the “ooze” from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a badge with an elephant that could have been finger-painted by a six-year-old, it embodies everything you could want in a nineties kit. The icing on the cake are the shiny ABM logos that are incorporated all over the shirt.
The fact that half of the shirt is kept in black could almost be interpreted as understatement and turns it into a shirt, that flamboyant Mexican ex-goalkeeper and 90s-kit-icon Jorge Campos would probably wear to a funeral.
I got this shirt alongside an also amazing San Marino kit from former Welsh international goalkeeper and England youth goalkeeping coach Martin Thomas, who obtained the shirt during the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship in Malaysia. The shirt is issued for substitute keeper Baffie Fofana, who was not capped for any of the games. It may be possible that the shirt was used during a game prior to the tournament, however.
Alongside the shirt came an official squad sheet and the original tournament brochure that features an article about all participating teams, albeit in Malay.
This is certainly a highlight in my collection. While many people may get sick by just looking at it, I can’t help but absolutely adore this shirt for its oddity and rarity, although I might suffer from permanent eye damage, from looking at it for too long…