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Tokyo Olympics: Definitive kit ranking

Oh, so many fashion hell nos

FOOTBALL-OLY-2020-2021-TOKYO-SWE-AUS Photo by AYAKA NAITO/AFP via Getty Images

With the dust having settled on the group games at the Olympic football tournament and everyone taking a well-needed breather before the knockouts, we take a look at the kits teams have been sporting in Tokyo. That’s right, it’s time to talk fassshone.

Note: for ease, rather than first kits, we’ve gone for most worn in the group so, New Zealand and Zambia’s away kit.

The worst

Hello Sweden! Did you throw a packet of highlighters in with a bunch of white t-shirts? This is somehow an improvement on the H&M weird, PVC-looking kits you had to wear in Rio five years ago but still absolutely dreadful. Other than doubling as a night-light, there are few redeeming qualities here.

Oh boy, joint eighth we have Canada, China, New Zealand and the USA. Why are your kits so boring? China some how comes out on the bottom for the worst of the plain red tees which is really saying something. The USA’s second kit – as worn against the Ferns – gets a special mention for being a crime against both fashion and football kits, it somehow makes me feel dizzy when I look at it? Was that the design intention, to give the world champions an extra edge? Either way, ew, into the bin with you.

New Zealand v United States: Women’s Football - Olympics: Day 1 Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

Marginally better in terms of a plain red t-shirt is Chile, only because they manage to pull off the white sleeves. Honestly, Nike has done so many of these teams dirty and the players deserve much better fits.

Purely because it’s such a classic across world football, Brazil manage to stick their noses just ahead of the rest of the boring brigade. Yes, it’s just canary yellow but the slight green detailing (and number/letting) saves this kit but it’s a far cry from the classics of 1994 and 1986.

The mehs

Straight in at fifth is Great Britain and even that feels generous. Look, it’s not the worst kit out there and the blue away offering is certainly an improvement on the first kit but it’s also just not a football kit. It makes sense to see it around the athletics (track and field) side of the Olympics, but it doesn’t belong on a football pitch, chaps.

Fourth feels exceptionally generous for the pure mess of Japan’s blue camo’ kit but I guess, marks for originality? I don’t understand why it exists and I wish it didn’t. Somehow the more egregious of all the camouflages, I can’t imagine any situation in which it would be useful except for it you were trying to go undetected in the Smurfs village.

Japan v Great Britain: Women’s Football - Olympics: Day 1 Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Much like GB, Australia has gone for a one design fits all approach for their Olympic apparel. Look, the colours work together and it’s both, by far and away a step up from the street art inspired kit we saw in at the 2019 Women’s World Cup and a long way from the worst of the kit we’ve seen at the Olympic football tournament. However, it too has the sense of not being a football kit, but rather an Aussie Rules kit, albeit a sleeved one.

The shup up and take my moneys

Bright orange and black is a fine colour combination and the Netherlands home shirt could have been oh so much more had it not been for Nike ruining it with the cracked tile pattern. Like the Manchester City home kit that ended up looking like the bottom of a swimming pool, the entirely superfluous lines seriously detract from this shirt’s appeal. The kit somehow made worse by the designers opting to draw the lines in red, making the patchwork of slashes look like veins running across the player’s torsos.


A delightful team on the pitch, Zambia’s green second shirt is truly nothing special but in a field of the drab, it stands out as a nice smart shirt. Dark green and high-lit with orange, red and black around the neck and sleeves, the subtle touches elevate the texturized kit and c’mon, who can say no to a traditional v-neck?

Lastly, New Zealand’s home kit, which only got one outing (against Australia), gets an honourable mention for being unlike any other kit but 100% Football Ferns. Far better from the plain white kit the Kiwis wore in their second and third matches, their black kit is well worth a second look.

Do you have a favourite kit? Let us know below. Rank them too if you have a best and worst in mind.