Vanuatu – Away – 2017

Vanuatu stunned the footballing world by qualifying for the 2017 U20 World Cup in South Korea. Now, there’s only 14 teams in the OFC region, and 2 of them get a spot at the U20 World Cup. Vanuatu lost to fellow qualifiers New Zealand in the final of the qualification tournament so it was actually their 94th minute winner in added time against the Solomon Islands that sealed their place – becoming the 5th team to represent OFC at the tournament (after Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tahiti).

What is impressive though is that they more than held their own against some of the top countries in the world. their opening game against Mexico saw them level after being 2-0 down, eventually losing 3-2 to a cruel goal in the 94th minute. They also took on Germany who seem to be storming every tournament at every level. Vanuatu found themselves 3-0 down, but pulled 2 goals back via stunning freekicks from star player Bong Kalo.

The 7-0 defeat by Venezuela was more like what we were expecting, but Venezuela went on to reach the final before finally losing to eventual champions England. Bong Kalo has since been offered a trial in Germany for Hannover 96,so we may well be seeing more of him in the future.

Official Vanuatu shirts made by Pasifika, the official suppliers of the OFC region, are available in the Football Shirt World online shop, but these are in extremely limited numbers.

St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts & Nevis – Home – 2016

For those following my football shirt project you will be well aware that I consider the Sugar Boyz to be my second team. In fact I possessed a St Kitts & Nevis shirt back in 2004 long before this project even started. Little did I know that a St Kitts & Nevis shirt would be one of the hardest to obtain, certainly one of the rarest in the Americas.

In recent years the Sugar Boyz have climbed up the FIFA world rankings making use of local players as well as several players from the English lower leagues. As of March 2017 they occupy 77th spot, above regional powerhouses Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, and above China – the world’s most populous nation. Not bad for the smallest country in the western hemisphere.

After a few years with L-Sporto and later bland Adidas templates SKN have been supplied by Canadian sportswear manufacturers Lika Sports who also kitted out the Dominica national team, making shirts available through the Lika Sports webpage. Unfortunately the bespoke St Kitts & Nevis shirts were not made available in the same way (that would be far too easy). As luck would have it my wife’s parents went on a cruise to the Caribbean and I was able to give brief instructions on how to find the SKNFA headquarters. To my delight they purchased both the home and away jerseys.


Botswana – Home – 2004

Embed from Getty Images