BY Kevin Mapasure
The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and Umbro will next week unveil the yellow and red Warriors shirt that has already proved unpopular with the fans after images of the home strip leaked some weeks ago.
Umbro failed to deliver the new Warriors kit in time for their last Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo Brazzaville as had been promised with Zifa forced to find an alternative.
While fans complained of the colours on social media, Umbro have insisted that they will unveil the yellow shirt which has got red vertical stripes.
In a statement yesterday, Zifa said the new kit will be launched in Harare on May 16 together with an away kit featuring a green top, yellow shorts and red socks.
It is likely that the away kit will be more popular than the home shirt among the fans.
Zifa have promised that on the day of the launch, the replicas will be available for the fans to purchase.
The Warriors will take part in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals that will be held in Egypt between June and July.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and Umbro today announced the consummation of their long-term partnership as the parties continue their preparations for the upcoming Total Africa Cup of Nations finals. The Warriors begin their campaign against Egypt in the prestigious opening match on June 21, 2019 and will wear the Umbro-designed kit which incorporates the most advanced lightweight performance fabrics designed for movement and breathability,” Zifa said in a statement.
Some fans have hit out at the kit design which they believe is not in sync with the Warriors’ traditional colours yellow and green and Zifa have been forced into defence mode.
“The Warriors home kit was inspired by Zimbabwe’s traditional yellow jersey with an added modern twist, using a mix of solid and gradient red vertical stripes. This clean and contemporary design ensures the home jersey will be a fan favourite. The away kit was inspired by the traditional colours of the Zimbabwean national flag. The use of solid green for the jersey, yellow for the shorts and red for the socks incorporates the colours of the flag in simple yet classic design features. Umbro has committed to partnering with major local retailers to distribute replica products and supporters gear to ensure that fans can participate in the growth and performance of the national team as they take part in Africa’s premier tournament.”
Zifa boss Felton Kamambo said the kit saga should finally come to an end.
“This should end all speculation in the marketplace about our partnership. We are proud to partner with such an established global sportswear brand and the parties have been working extremely hard over the past few weeks to structure this long-term partnership,” he said.
Chief executive of Umbro South Afric, David Ricketts insisted that they had done a good job, despite the criticism.
“We have created fantastic designs and a superior technical kit befitting Zimbabwe’s passionate fans. This partnership forms a very important part of our expansion in southern Africa and we are delighted to be part of this journey with Zifa,” he said.