Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Spotlight on Asia

 It's been a crazy 11 months since I started on my mission to collect the national shirt of each of FIFA's 208 members. At last count I had 141 shirts out of the 208 I need, and it's cost me almost £4000 so far. Numerically I'm two-thirds of the way to my target. But in terms of time, effort and money I'm no where near. All the popular shirts have been ticked off, and I can go for weeks without finding a lead on a new shirt. I've attempted to contact all the football association across the world with very little response.

About a month ago I began to concentrate my effort on the AFC members, the Asian football Confederation. There are 46 members of AFC split into 4 regional federations.

 ASEAN Football Federation (10/12)
I have 8 of these in my posession with Myanmar and Brunei both on their way. Timor-Leste is going to be a tricky one. Many of the shirts worn by the national team are knock offs, although they are apparantly soon to be supplied by Errea. I'm in a similar situation with Cambodia. I've seen a few shirts, but none that I've been able to back up with any photographs.

 East Asian Football Confederation (5/9)
A huge mix of teams here. Four of these countries have recently qualified for the FIFA World Cup, and I've managed to get an early 90s match worn Hong Kong shirt. The four remaining countries are proving very hard to find. I am surprised at how hard Chinese Taipei is given the interest in football over in Taiwan.

 Central and South Asian Football Federation (7/12)
Not the world's strongest footballing region, but I have managed to collect a few of the shirts from South Asia. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh shirts are regularly available through eBay due to the teams taking UK tours a few years ago. All the shirts are made by Sapphire Sports.

I am surprised at how hard it is to find the Central Asia shirts, especially since Uzbekistan (who have recently made the Semi Finalsof the Asia Cup) are supplied by Puma. I am currently awaiting delivery of a Kyrgyzstan shirt that I managed to buy from a very helpful fellow collector.

West Asian Football Federation(9/13)
Western Asia is possibly the second strongest of the 4 Asian regions. Saudi Arabia and Iran have both qualified recently, with Bahrain just missing out through the intercontinental play offsfor the past two World Cups. The eyes of the footballing world will of course be transfixed on Qatar in 2022. I've managed to get hold of alot of these shirts already and I suspect the othersd won't prove too hard to find in the future with the large British expat communities in the middle east. I think the only one that I'll have trouble with is Yemen. Although I'm grateful that there is only one Yemen to find these days thanks to unification in the early 90s.

How can you help?

The wonder of the internet is that I've been able to collect shirts from across the world without leaving my house. However, there's still a limit to what I can get. If it's not on the internet, then I can't obtain that shirt. If you live in, or have a contact who could help in any of the following countries, then please do get in touch:
  • Afghanistan
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Guam
  • Jordan
  • Macau
  • Mongolia
  • Palestine
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Timor-Leste
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen


    1. Palestine is available here: , but it`s too expensive and they only have S size...

      When I was in Santiago (Chile) in march, I saw these shirts in a shop named Futbol Cafe. Once Palestine is supplied by Training, a chilean company, it`s not so hard to find...

      I bought a Palestino shirt, a chilean team. It`s almost the same shirt, with sponsor.

    2. Cambodia :

      Palestine :

      Maybe they can help you.

    3. hello nick you collection is very inpresive i seen the uzbekistain shirt is now for sale on subside sports

    4. Cheers mate, I hadn't noticed the Uzbekistan shirts. Sorted!

      Jonny - I've contacted both those blogs before. I think one of them has given me a possible lead on Cambodia now. Thanks.

      Fernando - Yeah I've seen that site. Prices are crazy!