Nothing like an Irish welcome – twice

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At club level, you’ll occasionally hear of hitches with kits, usually sorted by the away team wearing one of the home side’s alternative strips.

In international football, such a situation would be more difficult to accept and so, twice during the Republic of Ireland’s qualifying campaign for the 1994 World Cup in the USA, countries visiting Dublin had to line out in hastily-produced kits.

Ireland’s first match of the campaign was at home to Albania in May 1992 – incidentally, the failure to qualify for Euro 92 allowed them to get underway, with the first games having taken place in the April – but the poor visitors didn’t have a pot to piss in and came with just the shirts on their backs, literally. The following from the front page of The Cork Examiner on the day of the game explains more, albeit with ‘adidas’ spelled wrongAlbania

Albania went down 2-0 to Jack Charlton’s side wearing what was a brand-new adidas style while Ireland were playing in their Italia 90 kit for the last time:


In June of 1993, when Ireland travelled to Tirana, the hosts were wearing a fairly old Umbro design. A month after that, Vilnius was the venue, with home team Lithuania also in Umbro, of the Everton 1990-92 away variety.

The Lithuanians came to Dublin in September, but must have only brought a green change kit, as far as we can make out from the Examiner’s piece on another rush-job (incidentally, by this time the adidas licence in Ireland had changed from Three-Stripe International to Emerald Active Wear):


They weren’t as lucky as Albania on the style front, however, with this outfit screaming ‘teamwear’. Again, Ireland won 2-0 and would go on to edge out Denmark and qualify along with Spain.


1 comment on “Nothing like an Irish welcome – twice

  1. rayhyland40

    Ah I see you covered this episode already! I love the drama of it all. You’d be forgiven for thinking the opposition would have had to roll up their trouser legs and play in string vests but for the intervention of Emerald Active wear. That said it was a lovely gesture of goodwill….twice.


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