Sat. Jun 10th, 2023

Summary: South Korea’s national football team home kit is an iconic piece of sportswear that represents not only the team but also the country’s history and culture. In this article, we will explore the design elements, history, controversy, and popularity of the South Korea home kit.

1. Design Elements

The current South Korea home kit features a predominantly red shirt with blue and white accents. The shoulder area of the shirt has a unique geometric pattern inspired by traditional Korean architecture. The shorts are also red with blue details and white stripes. The socks are white with red and blue stripes.

The kit is designed and manufactured by Nike, the American multinational corporation that specializes in sportswear. Nike has been making South Korea’s football kits since 1998 when the company signed a contract with the Korea Football Association (KFA). The partnership has continued ever since, producing some of the most recognizable football kits in the world.

One of the most notable features of the South Korea home kit is the emblem of the KFA on the left side of the chest. It consists of a tiger standing in front of a football, symbolizing the strength, courage, and agility of the national team. Above the emblem is the Korean flag, which represents the nation’s pride and unity.

2. History

The first South Korea national football team was established in 1948, and the team played its first international match against Mexico in the same year. At that time, the kit consisted of a white shirt, blue shorts, and red socks. Since then, the kit has undergone several changes in design and color.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the South Korea national football team achieved considerable success in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup and qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 1986. The team’s success on the international stage raised the profile of Korean football and increased the demand for high-quality football kits.

Since the 2000s, the South Korea home kit has become more diverse in design, incorporating traditional Korean motifs and cultural symbols. For example, the 2014 World Cup kit featured a unique graphic pattern inspired by the Hwarang warriors, an elite group of ancient Korean knights who embodied chivalry, bravery, and righteousness. The 2021 kit also includes a pattern inspired by traditional Korean roof tiles that symbolize good fortune and longevity.

3. Controversy

Despite its popularity, the South Korea home kit has also been the subject of controversy and criticism. One such controversy arose during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan. South Korea’s first-round match against Poland saw the team wear a white kit instead of their traditional red one.

The decision to wear the white kit was made by the Korea Football Association because the team had performed poorly in red shirts during previous matches. However, the change of color angered many fans who felt it was disrespectful to the team’s identity and heritage. The KFA subsequently apologized for the decision.

Another controversy emerged in 2018 when the South Korea national football team wore training jackets made by Nike that included a map of Korea that excluded the Dokdo islets. Dokdo is a disputed territory between South Korea and Japan, and the omission of the islets from the map was seen as a politically motivated move to appease Japanese consumers. The incident sparked protests from South Korean netizens and led to calls for a boycott of Nike products in the country.

4. Popularity

The South Korea home kit is one of the most popular football kits in the world, with millions of fans wearing it to show their support for the national team. The popularity of the kit has led to collaborations with various fashion brands and designers, such as Juun.J, a Korean fashion designer who created a limited-edition version of the kit for Nike in 2018.

The South Korea home kit has also become a cultural icon that reflects the country’s history, identity, and aspirations. In 2012, it was selected as one of the 50 most influential designs in the world by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The kit was praised for its ability to blend traditional and modern aesthetics while conveying a sense of national pride and confidence.

Furthermore, the popularity of the kit has contributed to the growth of Korean football and helped to foster a strong sense of community among football fans in the country. The kit has become a symbol of unity and solidarity that transcends social, economic, and political divides.


The South Korea home kit is much more than a piece of sportswear. It represents the history, culture, and aspirations of a nation and its people. The design elements, history, controversy, and popularity of the kit reflect the complex and dynamic nature of Korean society and its relationship with football. Whether you are a fan of the national team or just appreciate good design, the South Korea home kit is an iconic symbol of Korean football and culture.

By admin

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