As North Macedonia prepares for its first-ever European Championship appearance next month, jerseys are causing more drama for the country’s football federation off the pitch than on it.
On Friday, May 28, the Football Federation of Macedonia (FFM) unveiled a new set of kits for the national team in time for Euro 2020, including a new burgundy home jersey with white trim and a geometric lynx embossed on the front. These replaced a brighter red kit with yellow piping and yellow beams radiating out from the federation’s logo on the chest.
However, the reaction from fans was so negative that, by Sunday, May 30, the federation’s president had issued a statement apologizing for the mistake, and indicating that he would ask UEFA to allow the FFM to use their previous kits, which had been in use since 2016.
“First of all, I express my sincere regret for the negative reactions that were caused by the color of the new jersey. We are aware that the national team jersey is an honor and ambition of every football player from an early age,” said FFM president Muamed Sejdini on the federation’s website (translated into English by Google).
“The national team jersey was prepared with great joy at the request of the players. The team was looking for new national team jerseys. We wanted to meet that requirement.
“Unfortunately, the technical support regarding the color of the jersey is not in accordance with the requirements of FFM. The federation and the services in FFM take full responsibility for this choice, but will also demand responsibility from the technical partner.
“As president of the federation, I take my responsibility for possible consequences and announce that at the European Championship we will play with the current jerseys.”
Both the old and new kits are made by German manufacturer Jako, which also produces kits for Bundesliga clubs Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart.
Along with the new home kits, the FFM also unveiled two other kits on May 28: a white jersey with gold trim and a black jersey with orange trim. Both also feature the embossed geometric lynx. It is unclear if those kits will be used in Euro 2020 if UEFA grants the FFM’s home kit request.
North Macedonia kicks off its Euro 2020 campaign against Austria on Sunday, June 13, in Bucharest, Romania. They will also play the Netherlands and Ukraine in Group C.