[niʒɛʁ] – just to get the pronunciation out of the way – is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger river. As a landlocked country with 80% of its area inside the Sahara Desert, economic prospects are rather bleak, which also reflects in Niger’s last rank in the 2018 Human Development Index.
Despite their economic shortcomings, the Nigerien national football team has managed to reach a respectable 106th place in the FIFA World ranking above such nations as Thailand, Latvia and New Zealand! In 2012 and 2013 the team even managed to qualify for the Africa Cup, where they did not manage to win any of their games and consequently did not progress to the knock-out stages.
Flag jerseys are awesome! Also, animal jerseys are awesome, which makes this jersey super awesome! The front features two Dama gazelles, which are the countries national animal. Niger have been swapping their kit suppliers (Uhlsport and Tovio) like underwear (well, hopefully…), but their Uhlsport designs have been rather bland.
I have been looking to get my hands on this particular Niger jersey for quite a while. Many of my emails to outfitter Tovio remained unanswered, when I finally received a reply. After weeks of infrequent communication, Tovio was willing to send me two shirts for an exorbitant shipping fee. Upon opening the package, I was surprised by two matching pairs of shorts, which I’ll probably never wear.