Ajax, UEFA and Bob Marley: jerseys without birds

Ajax Amsterdam is not allowed to depict three small birds and three crosses in red, yellow and green on its black jerseys, which are reminiscent of reggae legend Bob Marley. The Dutch soccer champions, who actually play in red and white, use the jerseys as alternative clothing, and the shirt is very popular among fans.

The birds are reminiscent of Marley’s song “Three Little Birds”, which is played at Ajax home games. The European Football Union announced on Tuesday that the neck area, in which the birds and crosses are depicted, was reserved for the team symbols. The birds are not such a symbol, as explained in the relevant article of the Equipment Regulations. Therefore, the design was not approved. The city arms of Amsterdam also include three crosses, albeit in white.

UEFA said the manufacturer had provided a sample of the shirt back in September last year and had been advised that it did not meet the guidelines. However, it was decided to stick with it and use a different version for UEFA competitions.

Ajax starts this Wednesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and at Dazn) with an away game at Sporting Lisbon in the group stage of the Champions League, in which Borussia Dortmund and Besiktas Istanbul are the other opponents. The team had already competed in jerseys without the little birds at the league game in Zwolle.



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