Huge oil reserves, strict visa policies, hardly any freedom of press, a power-crazed autocrat and his flashy Instagram-obsessed son don't shed the most positive light on Africa's only Spanish-speaking nation. Furthermore, the Equatorial Guinean Football Federation did their best to not improve this image by bending the rules of international football a bit too much:
A couple Brazilian-born players were miraculously naturalized, despite vehement protest by other nations. Their women’s team even utilized male players and have been expelled from the 2019 Women's World Cup in France for fielding 10 ineligible players and using forged documents.
Despite quite a bit of cheating, their success, however, is somewhat negligible: the male team managed to qualify for the Africa Cup twice – both times as host. In 2015 they even managed to reach the semi-finals, which the team lost 3-0 against Ghana. Equatorial Guineas women’s team proved more successful: two-time champion of the African Women’s Championship in 2008 and 2012 (conveniently hosted by themselves…) as well as an appearance in the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany.
After their scandal-ridden past, it seems like Equatorial Guinea’s football federation is trying a new start, this time mostly with Spanish based players. Their change of image comes with a change of kit supplier, in the form of Italian manufacturer “Errea”. And with their new flashy shirts, the “Nzalang Nacional” (National Lightning) lives up to its name.
Their new red home shirt comes with a modern graffity / exploded-paint-bucket-design that’s truly unique. Unfortunately, Errea should have rather used a more “hi-res” image for the design, as the paint pattern looks pretty blurry from up close.