Comoros Islands: For the Good of the Game.
(Posted on 01/06/16)
Whilst the big hitters of Europe polish and shine their armour before heading into a twenty-four team royal rumble, and kit launches and selections are being branded around every day, you can be forgiven for missing the launch of one small nation off the east coast of Africa.
You’ve probably never heard of them, and you almost certainly won’t have seen them play, but the Comoros Islands are looking to make their mark on world football.
The tiny islands situated near Madagascar and Mozambique are far from the glitz and glamour we are used to seeing in world football today, and yet are coming close to breaking obvious barriers.
The first being the tiny population. The Comoros Islands is home to 985,500 people which to put into perspective is three times smaller than Wales. To add to that, the Islands only became independent in 1975 following a referendum to relinquish itself from French ruling, very quickly the national team took form.
Their first game on August 26th 1979 was the first as an independent state, with a 3-0 loss to Mauritius followed five days later by Comoros’ biggest defeat to the same opposition 6-1.
So, a slow start admittedly. Perhaps football fever hadn’t hit so hard on an island known more for its relaxed sun kissed beaches than producing the next Diego Maradona. But time is a healer and over the next forty years the best eligible talent would turn out in the green and white of Comoros, not as they did beforehand for France. Notably the French did represent the Islands in World Cups from 1930 right up until 1974.
Fast track to 2016 and they have a wealth of talent at their disposal, most notably Kayserispor goalkeeper Ali Ahamada who featured regularly in Ligue 1 with Tolouse before heading to Turkey. The majority of the squad is French born, and playing in the French leagues, such as Kassim Abdallah who’s turned out for Marseille in the past. For British fans the face recognised by the majority is Nadjim Abdou, a midfielder who’s featured over 250 times for Millwall and recently played in the League One Play-Offs for the Lions.
Those are just some of the names which see the Comoros Islands ranked 159, above the likes of New Zealand who famously avoided defeat in the 2010 World Cup and India, a country with a population of 1.2billion (over 1,200 times bigger).
What they may lack in some ability and prowess they more than make up for in kit. Suppliers Maana appear to have a very exclusive deal with the national side, as the only side they provide for. This certainly makes these kits hard to come by, and although new for 2016/2017, may be hard to come by due the nature of Maana themselves. Much like the nation they are small; however the contribution they have made makes all the difference. The slick, creative and modern design whilst not lacking the modern technology in jerseys which big names such as Nike or adidas boast.
To make this particular jersey even more romantic, Maana donate money from shirts sold to fund humanitarian projects in both Comoros and in France, ensuing whilst the shirt is enjoyed, good is being done across two continents. Whilst the national team continue to find their feet, loving the game for what it is, the kit as part of the game itself is bringing people together and doing good, don’t you just love this special game?