Matchprepared Ludo Lagourde (Indian Ocean Island Games 2023)
Manufacturer: Label Sports
Source: Label Sports
The sheer number of French overseas territories can be a bit confusing. Spanning the entire globe, there are eleven inhabited territories in total. With nearly 900,000 inhabitants, Réunion Island, located in the Indian Ocean, is the most populous. Unlike Tahiti (actually French Polynesia) and New Caledonia, the other overseas territories are not members of FIFA. Together with Mayotte, Réunion is an associate member of the African federation CAF, which unfortunately does not allow the two islands to participate in the Africa Cup.
For this reason, the Indian Ocean Island Games are the only opportunity for Réunion to present itself in footballing terms. With a total of five titles, the island is also the most successful team in the tournament, in which FIFA members Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Maldives and Seychelles also participate.
Football jerseys of Réunion have always been virtually unattainable. Through the local manufacturer Label Sports it was finally possible to get hold of a few jerseys, which were actually only produced for use during the tournament and not for commercial purposes. Fortunately the manufacturer was persuaded to sell the unused jerseys and ship them overseas.
A total of four colors of the shirt were produced, but only the blue home design and the black goalkeeper jersey were worn. The designs are very colorful and busy and feature the oversized manufacturer's logo as well as the crest of the football association and the national flag. While the design is a real eye-catcher, the quality is rather at the lower end: completely sublimated with some questionable seams, it can certainly not be measured with the major manufacturers.
Nevertheless, it's a unique design and I'm glad to finally have a jersey from Réunion in my collection. The #24 was prepared for Ludo Lagourde, who wore the number in the semifinal against Mauritius, among others. In the end, they lost to the team from Madagascar in extra time of the final.