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FIFA defends Ivory Coast’s white kit choice amid disappointing draw

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Ivory Coast’s recent 0-0 draw against Kenya in Malawi during the 2026 World Cup qualifiers has stirred both criticism and superstition among fans. The goalless stalemate followed a narrow 1-0 victory over Gabon just days earlier, casting a shadow over the Elephants’ impressive campaign start.

The controversy centers around the white jerseys the Ivorian team wore, a departure from their usual orange kit.

Some fans were quick to blame the unusual attire for the team’s lackluster performance.

The last time the Elephants wore the white kit was during a notorious 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Addressing the issue, Yacine Idriss Diallo, president of the Ivorian Football Federation, provided an explanation for the jersey choice.

“When we play away, the host team has the first choice of kit. Kenya chose red, so we had to opt for white as we couldn’t wear our usual orange,” Diallo clarified on his official Facebook account.

Despite the draw, Diallo emphasized the positives from their World Cup qualifying campaign.

“Three victories, one draw, zero goals conceded, 12 goals scored, 10 points out of 12 possible,” he recapped, highlighting the team’s strong performance so far.

The Elephants lead Group F with 10 points, maintaining a slender advantage over second-placed Gabon.

Diallo urged the team and fans to stay focused, emphasizing the need for “humility, rigor, self-sacrifice, and seriousness” as the qualifiers continue.

The Elephants’ next fixture is set for September, with opponents yet to be announced for the AFCON 2025 qualifiers.

Emerse Faé’s squad remains undefeated and resolute in their quest for World Cup qualification, despite the hiccup against Kenya.

As the campaign progresses, the team aims to solidify its position and continue its journey with the same determination that has brought them success so far.

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Ibrahim Sannie

Ibrahim Sannie

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