The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) vowed to unveil a “third kit” at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship, as the local football body aims to rebound from the embarrassment of using training jerseys at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament.
The TTFA’s new white playing outfit bears a diagonal sash across the front of the jersey, with an intricate patterned design. Apparel sponsor, Bol, said the jersey is a “custom made, one of a kind, kit” that “is a celebration of Trinbagonian identity and culture”.
“The stripe is a tribute to the national flag; with the details on it celebrating the steel pan, representing the national pride shown at every Carnival,” read a joint statement from Bol and the TTFA.
The Women Soca Warriors are expected to use the new outfit for the first time when they face Canada in their opening 2022 Concacaf W Championship fixture against Canada from 10pm (TT time) at the Estadio BBVA in Guadalupe, Mexico.
The burning question, though, is: will they be allowed to actually play in it?
Bol, an obscure Miami-based company incorporated in August 2020, became the official supplier of the TTFA last year. The pair did not get off to a smooth start.
On 25 March, the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team technical staff and players opted to continue to use their old Joma kits after Bol sent poorly sized jerseys to the camp for their opening 2022 World Cup qualifier against Guyana.
Bol got its sizes right by the following month, although they had the misfortune of making their debut in a humiliating goalless draw away to The Bahamas, which saw the Soca Warriors crash out of the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying competition.
Concacaf deemed the Bol design on the white Soca Warriors jerseys—a massive, colourful Amerindian head—to be illegal, though, and refused to let Trinidad and Tobago use them at the 2021 Gold Cup.
Fifa Equipment Regulations state that: “[…] Decorative Elements may not, by any means, dominate a playing equipment item, such as by means of colour, size and/or position. Any decorative element must be permanently incorporated in a Playing Equipment.
“[…] Decorative elements may form part of a manufacturer’s generic product line, provided these decorative elements do not produce, or by any other means give, the (visual) impression of a manufacturer’s identification, identification of a supplier, sponsor/product advertising, a commercial or further message of any kind, or any other elements which, in Fifa’s reasonable discretion, create an association with a sponsor, manufacturer or supplier (eg slogans) […] giving the impression of registered trademarks or recognisable, but unregistered, designs.”
Blindsided by Concacaf’s decision, the Men’s National Senior Team printed numbers on their training jerseys and used those instead. And, 12 months later, Bol had still not sorted out the white Warriors kit—as the Men’s National Under-20 Team controversially used grey jerseys as their second outfit at the June 2022 Concacaf Under-20 Championships.
The Women Soca Warriors will hope there are no issues this time. The sash is no stranger to the international game, as it is the regular pattern of the Peru national team, for one.
The pattern would need Concacaf’s approval, though, and presumably Bol was more careful this time.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association believes that by having the Women’s Team wear for the first time our new kit,” said Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad, “it is a huge recognition of the development of the women’s game in our country.
“It’s our way to celebrate the amazing talent and dedication this team has put into their challenge for a place in next year’s Fifa World Cup.”
Bol co-founder Tiago Pinto also suggested that the new outfit was meant to “celebrate the talent of the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s football team and to elevate the role women play in sports in the Caribbean”.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Team is on an amazing journey into the higher echelons of the sport,” stated Pinto. “What they represent to the game, and to the country, is amazing. So, we believe this is a great opportunity to celebrate that by having them debut the new third kit, which represents Trinbagonian identity and culture.”
The new Bol jersey is available in men and women’s sizes at bolfootball.com or The Fan Club in Trincity Mall and local Sports & Games outlets. It is priced at US$90.