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Why did France wear green and white stripes during a World Cup game?

During the 1978 World Cup France were forced to wear green and white stripes due to an administrative error

France and blue go together like Roy Hodgson and that pained expression you make when you stub you toe.

It’s in the name- Les Bleus– and it’s all you can see when Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial and Ousmane Dembele are buzzing around the Stade de France.

But in the 1978 World Cup Les Bleus became the Green and Whites.

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Allez Les Verts et Blanc

Allez Les Verts et Blanc

The stage was Mar del Plata in Argentina.

With Italy and Argentina already guaranteed progression from Group 1 France’s game against Hungary was about as dead as rubber could be.

We’ll remind you that this is ’78.

TV was still mainly black and white, so FIFA tried to ensure watching audiences weren’t baffled by getting France to wear white and Hungary to wear red.

Then FIFA changed their mind, with France instructed to wear blue and Hungary white, but the reasoning was still the same.


However someone forgot to pass on the memo.

So when it came to match day Hungary turned up in white, as they were instructed to, only to be met with France wearing an identical strip.

Cue a mad dash to the nearest club Atletico Kimberley, whose colours of white and green were perfect for TV audiences.

Don’t let the tracksuits fool you

Don’t let the tracksuits fool you

The drama wasn’t quite over.

It took nearly an hour for France to iron numbers onto the back of Kimberley’s kit, however not all the numbers on the borrowed shirts matched up with the official shorts.

Eventually everyone was happy and the game could kick off.

A sight for sore eyes, and not a great kit either

A sight for sore eyes, and not a great kit either

France ended up winning the game 3-1 thanks to goals from Christian Lopez, Marc Berdoll and Dominique Rocheteau before heading back home.

So it was a disaster on the pitch and a disaster off it for France.

But we’re pretty sure it’s the only time a club side’s shirt has been on show on football’s biggest stage.