x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Cameroon's Lions were vest to impress

true colours It is a shame that someone did not summon the strength to subdue the person who designed Cameroon's kit for the African Cup of Nations in 2002.

Cameroon's sleeveless kit was controversial.
Cameroon's sleeveless kit was controversial.

Cameroon may be known as the Indomitable Lions, but it is a shame that someone did not summon the strength to subdue the person who designed their kit for the African Cup of Nations in 2002. The tournament is a real bugbear for European managers, who lose their star African players for a month, but it provided another talking point seven years ago, when the holders turned up in Mali sans sleeves.

The kit certainly allowed them to flex their muscles as Cameroon won the tournament without conceding a goal in regular play in any of their six matches. They beat Senegal 3-2 on penalties in the final in Bamako. Fifa, however, were not so impressed - at least with the vests - and banned the team from wearing them at that summer's World Cup. The kitmakers Puma added black arms to the kit to give the illusion of no sleeves, but the magic had gone and they failed to make it beyond the group stage.

At the 2004 Cup of Nations they were at it again though, with a lovely one-piece number. Fifa said the kit was illegal - insisting that kits must be separate shirt a shorts (Well, it would halve the sales otherwise, wouldn't it?). World football's governing body deducted six points from Cameroon's qualifying campaign, only to hand them back rather sheepishly after Puma pointed out that a requirement for a two piece kit is not stated in Fifa's laws of the game.