Adidas and their eternal rival Nike are at loggerheads yet again. But this time, the German brand has pulled one over their American counterparts to the delight of their supporters.
Nike is the official kit maker for the Canadian football team. Their current jerseys were worn for the first time in a World Cup qualifying match against Aruba, back in June 2021.
The men’s team are flying to Qatar for the upcoming World Cup, their second-only participation in the finals after 1986.
This is a proud & momentous occasion for the country and yet, they won’t be wearing new threads in the tournament.
The home stripes consist of a plain red football shirt with the Canadian maple leaf crest on the chest while the away kit is the same in white.
They are clean enough but do not arise any excitement for a country qualifying only for the second time in their history.
Adidas, on the other hand, have taken the opportunity to capitalise by releasing a retro-inspired lifestyle collection.
They are slightly based on the shirts worn in Canada’s first World Cup with similar font and the maple leaf symbol.
This move seemed to have garnered a lot of publicity among the fans as they are raving about the new hoodies, sweatshirts & soon-to-be-released t-shirts.
Most teams generally showcase new designs & put on a new look for football’s biggest competition to mark the symbolic achievement of being a part of the event. Nike have done so for all the other teams they design for, except Les Rouges.
Nike’s official stance on the fiasco was that they won’t get a new one for the World Cup due to it being “on a different kit development cycle.”
Multiple reports of backlash and disappointment from the national team’s players have emerged following this decision from Nike.
“I’m not a fan of it, to be honest,” Canada defender Sam Adekugbe told The Athletic. “I just feel like every team should get a new kit for the World Cup because it’s a symbolic event. I don’t hate it, but I would have liked to have gotten a new kit, just because it’s something to cherish.”
Lille star Jonathan David was spotted covering the Nike logo as an act of protest while celebrating his goal in their game against Qatar, with the Adidas logo of his glove receiving the attention instead.
Canada is looking to make a splash in Qatar this November with the next hosts being North America (including Vancouver and Toronto) in 2026. They play their first game on November 23rd against Group F rival Belgium. Morocco and Croatia are the other teams in a very tough grouping.
Captain Atiba Hutchinson will be looking to lead a young Canadian squad with the likes of global stars such as David and Bayern Munich boy Alphonso Davies as far as he can.
If they can back up their superb qualifying campaign with a serious run to the knockout stages, maybe they would be least bothered by what they would be wearing.