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They came, they wore and rocked Afcon 2024

Fashionable: Over the years, soccer has become more than just kicking a ball. It has become a lifestyle and that can be seen in the changing fashion

In the 2000s, kit manufacturers started experimenting with fashion. The first were Kappa, Fubu, and Fila, who had already ventured into athleisure manufacturing clothing that was cool, sleek, and fitting. As Afcon comes to a close on Sunday, Andrew Kaggwa and Isaac Ssejjombwe present some of the outstanding kits at this year’s tournament.

Apparently, there was a time when football was just a sport.

Then, 22 men would show up on a pitch and kick a piece of leather. Some would win, others would lose, and some individuals would go ahead and write their names into history.

People such as Lionel Messi, the known greatest player, and Cristiano Ronaldo, the other guy who is also a good baller, went on to become icons and cultural influencers.

Over the years, football teams have produced players whose influence has flown from Highbury, the then home of Arsenal, to Kalerwe, where most people do not even own a passport.

Those people in Kalerwe will work tirelessly to own Arsenal’s kit every season. They celebrate when Arsenal buys a new player as if it was their own money. That is when kits became a thing, their launch became an event, models were employed to walk the runway in kits. Before the World Cup or any tournament, Nike, Puma, Adidas and Umbro will release a number of kits that different countries will be donning for the campaign.

Back in the day, we used to laugh at the buggy long-sleeved shirts, knickerbockers, and high socks. Most of the time, these kits were larger than life on small bodied players. Imagine a teenage Michael Owen covered in the red English Three Lions kit; the thing made him appear even younger.

In the 2000s, kit manufacturers started experimenting with fashion. The first were Kappa, Fubu, and Fila, who had already ventured into athleisure manufacturing of clothings that was cool, sleek, and fitting.

But for the 2002 tournaments, Puma went out of the way with the Cameroon national team kits. The indomitable lions probably own one of the most iconic and yet controversial football kits; the sleeveless kit from their successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign in 2002.

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