Ajax have been forced to make changes to their Bob Marley-inspired ‘Three Little Birds’ kit because the imagery goes against UEFA’s rules.
The Dutch club released their new strip, made by Adidas, in August and collaborated with Marley’s family on the design.
The reggae star’s iconic song ‘Three Little Birds’ has become an anthem for the fans and the club decided to pay tribute to the hit by having three birds stitched into their black shirts.
The three birds were placed on the back of the neck, just below the collar, with one in red, one in green and the other in yellow.
The club wore the kit for the first time against PEC Zwolle on Saturday but fans noticed the birds had been removed from the back of the shirt.
When asked by Ajax Life for the reasoning, the club said: ‘The European Football Association [UEFA] sees it as a different expression than the club logo, logo clothing sponsor or sleeve sponsor. Other expressions are not allowed.’
Clubs are allowed to have their own badge, the name of their kit supplier and other sponsors on their shirts, but they are not permitted to have any other imagery.
The third kit was made to be worn predominantly in the Champions League, rather than the Eredivise.
The club’s association with the Marley song dates back to a friendly with Cardiff in 2008.
The fans were asked to remain in the stadium after the game and tune was blasted out over the speakers. It quickly became a fans’ favourite to the point that the song is now played during every home game.
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