SUDAN

Away 2021

Manufacturer: Solo Sport

Source: Solo Sport

 

THE COUNTRY

Dubbed „The Secretarybirds“ for their impressive typewriting skills, Sudan’s national team looks back upon a successful past during the 1950’s and 1970’s, when the team showed some prolific performances in the Africa Cup, even winning the trophy in 1970.

In contrast to other African nations, which rely a lot on European-based players, Sudan’s squads mainly consisted of local players, making the countries participations in the Africa Cup quite impressive. Beyond that, the team has managed to win the CECAFA Cup three times, the last time being in 2007.


THE SHIRT

Despite not being a totally obscure national team, getting a jersey from Sudan is an extremely difficult task – not to say one of the hardest of all.

The team is known for wearing simple Adidas/Puma/Nike/JAKO template shirts with added federations badges, rather than bespoke kits. In addition, the team has been wearing those designs for years and years. It almost seems like the kitman was rolling dice to decide, which old shirts the team would wear for a game.

Without replica shirts being sold, the only possibility to add a Sudan jersey to the collection was to somehow get your hands on a matchworn shirt – either through a player or someone working for the federation.

In 2021, Kuwaiti sports brand “Solo Sport“ stepped in to provide Sudan with bespoke designs, which the team then wore for a few games.

For the 2022 Africa Cup, everyone was expecting Sudan to use their new Solo Sport kits, however, the team would enter the pitch in their first against Guinea-Bissau wearing 9-year-old Adidas shirts. To make things even stranger, the squad changed their shirts to yet another blank Adidas design during half-time. On social media, promo pictures of the players wearing the Solo Sport designs with blurred manufacturer logos were posted and rumors started appearing, that Solo Sport failed to pay the designer of the shirts. Ultimately, the whole shirt fiasco seems to be down to political reasons, as the federation’s newly elected president Mutasim Jaafar simply canceled the contract with Solo Sports shortly before the tournament.


As with Djibouti and Somalia – the two other extremely difficult countries to obtain shirts from – I’ve contacted countless players and staff to finally get a shirt for my collection. With the federation seemingly hoarding old shirts in order to randomly use them in future games and the fact that almost every player of the national team is based in Sudan – thus making the shipment to Europe rather difficult – I haven’t been successful in my endeavor. While the players were super helpful and friendly, none of them was able to send one of his shirts to Germany.

When Solo Sport presented their Sudan jerseys, they were probably bombarded with messages from collectors trying to finally add a proper Sudan shirt to their collection. Unfortunately, Solo Sport wasn’t really interested in making any money, hence, those messages remained unanswered.

In March 2022, it seemed like the brand was finally willing to sell a small stock of their Sudan shirts to a group of craving collectors – including me.

While I’m happy to finally tick off the penultimate country to achieve my goal, it still doesn’t feel like the proper way to obtain a Sudan shirt, which is why I will continue annoying Sudanese players with my messages, hoping to one day add a matchworn Sudan shirt to my collection, just like in “the olden days”.

Sudan during their game against Lebanon in 2021.
Sudan wearing two different kits in one game during the 2022 Africa Cup


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