If “football without fans is nothing,” then it seems nowhere are supporters missed more than at 1FC Köln.
November would usually see the Bundesliga club preparing for the city of Cologne’s annual Fastelovend carnival with singing, dancing and partying at the RheinEnergieStadion.
Whilst the global Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions placed on public gatherings mean that this year’s festivities are a far more subdued affair, that doesn’t mean that Köln’s fans should not have a Karneval kit to celebrate.
Summing up how we’re all feeling at the moment, Die Geißböcke (The Billy Goats) launched their 7th iteration of their now traditional carnival jersey with a sardonic strapline; “it is what it is” and reassuring us all that this “shit” will pass.
1FC Köln managing director, Alexander Wehrle said;
“The Karneval kit has become a tradition for fans, an emotional collectors’ item that means a lot to people – just like us. Therefore, we decided to stand by the kit. Even when it isn’t possible to celebrate Karneval together this year.”
Uhlsport have sewn 11 symbols of Cologne including its gothic Dom cathedral together in the style of the popular Lappenclown (rag clown) costumes seen at the festival.
The city’s coat of arms is applied to the front of the red and white shirts, with a yellow and blue goalkeeper shirt available if that’s your sort of thing.
Each shirt comes in a reusable gym bag and Effzeh will make a symbolic donation of 1,11€ towards Cologne’s cultural scene for each and every shirt sold.
The designs is completed with white shorts and a pair of quite stunning socks in the same jagged pattern as the home shirt.
Melanie Steinhilber, managing director at Uhlsport said;
“1. FC Köln is part of life in Köln just like Karneval is. Even when Karneval isn’t able to take place, the people carry around the happiness in their hearts. The new FC Karneval kit should bring that to light.”
We’d love to be drinking Kölsch and swaying with the fans at the Müngersdorfer Stadion but that can wait for another year.
In these extraordinary times we applaud Uhlsport and 1FC Köln for bringing a little bit of normality through novelty.