Matchworn 14.03.17 U21 MUS 🇲🇺 : SGP 🇸🇬 2 - 1 (player unknown)
Source: Collector / Singapore kitman
Imagine being an artist: you have the most vibrant colors at your disposal, you live on a beautiful picturesque island that has a giant flightless bird as their heraldic animal. You are surrounded by palm trees and life is good. One day you are tasked to design the football jersey of your national team. What would you do?
Well, if you’re the guy that concocted the shirt for Mauritius national team, you would probably buy a dull 20 quid Adidas template and slam a badge on it, just to quickly indulge in the neat island life again. For an extra reward of merit, make sure to leave one of the letters on the badge crooked – nobody will notice!
The football history of Mauritius is as dull as dreary as their shirt and can be summarized in within the length of a blank character. Their crowning achievement has to be, when they finished last during the 1974 Africa Cup in Egypt. Recent successes are also as scarce, as the colors on their national gown: out of the last ten games they played, they lost eight and accomplished a single 3-1 win against New Caledonia.
Have I mentioned that I find this shirt particularly boring, especially as it represents paradise on earth? These template-based shirts make it eminently difficult to determine their authenticity. There are heaps of fake Mauritius shirts on eBay and when I spotted this model, I wasn’t genuinely excited, but decided to research it anyway.
Thanks to the shirt “designer”, mentioned above, my life was made easier, as the crooked “U” on the badge wasn’t present on the counterfeit shirts that I found. I couldn’t even find it on pictures of the official crest that popped up on Google images. I gladly found an authentic matchworn shirt on fellow collector Sascha’s blog and - lo and behold – it also had that lopsided “U”.
Further investigation revealed, that it was used during an U21 match between Mauritius and Singapore, honoring the 49th anniversary of the country’s independence. I even discovered a video of the whole match, which Mauritius won 2-1, and was able to confirm, that number 15 indeed started the game. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to figure out his name, yet.
Since all these findings coincide with the seller’s description and the fact that he also had a couple Singapore shirts, which he apparently received from Singapore’s kitman, I’m happy to finally add a genuine Mauritius shirt to my collection.