Seychelles’ football history can be summed up in a single word: uneventful.
Having never taken part in any AFCON, let alone World Cup, their biggest success has to be their win of the 2011 Indian Ocean Island Games, where they bested football behemoths like Mayotte, Réunion, Mauritius or Maldives. Right now, Seychelles rank 202th in the FIFA rankings, leaving just eight teams behind them.
I’ve already written about beautiful island countries with colorful flags wearing dull and uninspiring template shirts, when I talked about my Mauritius jersey.
The Seychelles used to be one of those countries, too, but then came this shirt…
After the first pictures of it surfaced, collectors were intrigued by its “map” design and the colorful shoulder stripes.
Many collectors started researching mysterious manufacturer logo – simply a stylized “R” – but to no avail. After Danish collector Frederik was finally able to obtain two specimens of this elusive jersey, a few questions were answered, yet, getting more of them still seemed like a tough challenge. Since the Seychelles Football Federation is notoriously difficult to contact (full Email inbox, no social media accounts…), for a long time, no more shirts found their ways into anyone’s collection. After countless messages to players and staff, Seychelle’s FA president sent me the number of their General Secretary. And, indeed, an awkward call later, I was finally promised a shirt – a promise that was never kept, however…
Ultimately, it took the diplomatic connections and persistence of fellow collector Fred, to eventually obtain six of these coveted pieces of polyester. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky few to get one of these beauties, hence being finally able to cross this “holy grail” off my wantlist.
The shirt can also be used as a map, as it features outlines of the three biggest islands “Mahé”, “Praslin” and “La Digue” along with some cute stylized waves.
The five national colors are prominently featured on the sleeves, while the flag is embroidered on the neck.
Coming from the absolutely unknown and quite enigmatic manufacturer “Rhino”, the quality and love for detail is quite impressive. Strangely, there are at least four different versions of this shirt, all differing in regards of the pattern, embroidery, collar and the color of the “Seychelles” on the back.
This amazing shirt surely serves as a great example of a tiny football nation, putting some effort in creating a truly unique and individual design.