Eredivisie champions Ajax has been forced to make changes to its Bob Marley-inspired kit because the UEFA said the kit had illegal imagery.
The Three Little Birds strip had been received with overwhelming enthusiasm by Ajax fans when it was introduced in August and the team wore it for the first time on Saturday during their 2-0 victory over PEC Zwolle.
The original kit had three birds stitched on the back, just below the collar – one in each of red, yellow and green – in homage to the Marley track.
However, the kit could not be worn without changes mandated by an obscure UEFA rule that deemed that the three little birds on the jersey is “a different expression than the club logo, logo clothing sponsor or sleeve sponsor. Other expressions are not allowed”.
‘Three Little Birds’ the club’s anthem
The original design developed in collaboration with Bravado, Universal Music Group’s global merchandise division, was released in August and was extremely popular among fans, who crashed the club’s website placing orders.
Three Little Birds became the club’s anthem following a friendly against Cardiff City in 2008.
Following the match, Ajax fans were asked to remain behind and were entertained by the stadium DJ, who began playing the reggae classic. The fans’ connection with the song was recognised by the club this season as it became the inspiration for their third kit, which will mainly be worn in their Champions League fixtures, but not without the changes mandated by the UEFA rule.