Hummel has launched the brand new Afghanistan national team shirt – and it includes a built-in hijab for the women’s version of the kit.
The integrated hijab ensures female footballers can now play while remaining covered from head to toe.
Working with former Afghanistan women’s team captain Khalida Popal, Hummel designer Paul Fitzgerald also drew inspiration from the country’s heritage.
“I asked Khalida to think of something that inspires her about Afghanistan, and she told me about the Afghan mountains – that was really my starting point,” Fitzgerald explains.
The result is a shirt that not only incorporates the region’s iconic mountain ranges, but also boasts a detailed patterning that references the calligraphy and woodcarvings of the Afghan capital of Kabul.
The new-look Afghan Lions shirt also conforms to FIFA kit statutes that dictate that the hijab hood is not connected directly to the shirt and remains the same colour as the kit in question.
As well as being the first football kit to feature a hijab, the strip is unique for also featuring FIFA-approved leggings rather than shorts. It’s believed that other women’s kits from predominantly Muslim nations are considering emulating the Afghanistan kit design for future national kits.
The new designs are part of Hummel’s stated ongoing mission to “Change the world through sport.”
Hummel owner Christian Stadil said: “We don’t sponsor the biggest teams in the world, but we make partnerships with teams and clubs with a story to tell, like Afghanistan.
“We try to meet the Afghan people where they are, and right now that is by helping the women play football with or without a hijab.”
The Afghanistan National Olympic Committee first formed the women’s team back in 2007, using players selected from several schools in Kabul and have so far won four of their 14 matches.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.