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China's Forbidden Jersey

Posted by John Hickey on

As it always happens before an official jersey release, in early 2018 pictures of China's new away jersey were leaked. The reaction from jersey collectors all over the world was extremely positive, everyone wanted to get their hands on the all black kit with dragon design.

Just days before the actual release news started spreading that the Chinese FA had rejected the jersey. On the day of the release fans got to see the red home jersey but the much awaited black away kit was never mentioned. The dragon motif was maintained in the release ceremony, claiming that the yellow sleeves were a reference to the dragon breathing fire, but that was it.

No clear reason was ever given by the Chinese FA or Nike, all we have are online theories such as that the dragon is sacred in Chinese culture and it would be blasphemous, or that black represents death and would not be well received within the country.

Obviously the jersey was never worn on the field, the white third kit was used whenever red wasn't an option. As for the commercialization of the jersey, there was a complete recall within China and it was never sold within the country. However, the jersey was available on in the United States for just a few hours before being marked SOLD OUT. This means that there actually are a few original circulating the internet to this day, but the scarcity and folklore of the jersey make it one of the most expensive kits on the market. 


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