Matchworn (player unknown) various matches i.a. 05.07.2008 VUT 🇻🇺 : SOL 🇸🇧 1-2
"Yumi, Yumi, Yumi"
(Vanuatu national anthem)
It is not known whether the Ni-Vanuatu (as Vanuatu's inhabitants are called) also have love in their tummies, as mentioned in the Ohio Express song of the same name or whether the anthem is about the country’s national dish "Laplap".
What is known, however, is that bungee jumping was invented in Vanuatu. Not necessarily in the form we know it – but men tied to vines, jumping off a tower one after the other sounds about the same...
What is also known are the successes of the Vanuatu national team: there aren’t (m)any - at least not in tournaments that the regular football fan is interested in. The team did win the 1990 Melanesia Cup, however, and was also successful in the 2011 Wantok Cup, where the shirt I’ll be telling you about soon, was allegedly worn.
The country's greatest footballing success, however, involves Vanuatu's U20 national team. In 2017, they managed to qualify for the World Cup, where they played a more than respectable tournament, scoring two goals each against Mexico and Germany and only narrowly losing both games, only to not so narrowly (7-0) lose against Venezuela.
Here it is: one of my football jersey holy grails!
Even if the production quality is dubious and the design could come from a grade school student – here lies the charm of the shirt!
Flag jerseys are always great and extremely rare ones are even more great!
This jersey comes directly from the Vanuatian Football Federation and was probably worn in several games. Even though it says "Olympic 23 Warriors" on the chest, the senior team also wore this design - albeit with the lettering pasted over.
It is made by New Zealand manufacturer "KooGa" and impresses with its $2-made-in-China-aesthetic. Both the manufacturer's logo and the association crest are on the sleeves of the shirt respectively and, like the number, are completely sublimated.
Even though I'm making a bit of a mockery of it here: this jersey is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my collection!