Brazil football shirt 2022: will they wear yellow top for World Cup match vs Serbia, why is it controversial?

Brazilian fans criticise Brazil’s canary jersey as it appears to support outgoing right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro

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Brazil is undoubtedly known as one of the most famous footballing nations in the world and will shortly begin its bid to become World Champions once again when they take on Serbia in their opening World Cup game later today, Thursday 24 November 2022.

With five world cups under its belt and some of the most famous player to ever play the game on its roster, the one enduring images of the team is the famous Brazilian yellow shirt. The shirt has been worns in different variations throughout the years by players such as Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar, who may well be playing in his last World Cup tournament of his career.

While it is synonymous to footballing glory, an unlikely connection has been made to Brazil’s outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro. But why is the canary yellow shirt connected to the president, and could the connection to the far-right politician turn the national team off it altogether?

Here’s everything you need to know.

The iconic yellow shirts worn by the Brazil national football team have become a politicised symbol - but why? (Credit: Getty Images)The iconic yellow shirts worn by the Brazil national football team have become a politicised symbol - but why? (Credit: Getty Images)
The iconic yellow shirts worn by the Brazil national football team have become a politicised symbol - but why? (Credit: Getty Images)

Why is the Brazil yellow shirt connected to Jair Bolsonaro?

The yellow shirt was first used in a political context in 2014. It was then that protesters took to the streets to demand the impeachment of then-president Dilma Rousseff, who was a left-wing politician. Protesters dressed themselves in colours of the Brazilian flag with many choosing the Brazilian national football top as a way to stick to this.

In 2018, Bolsonaro began campaigning to become President of Brazil. For his campaigns and rallies, Bolsonaro harkened back to the 2014 protests and used the colours - and the shirt - as a political symbol against Brazil’s left-wing parties.

Since then, the colours of the Brazil flag and the iconic yellow shirt have been heavily associated with the President who the Washington Post have dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics.” Tops from the national team are still regularly worn by his supporters at his rallies and campaign events.

Will the Brazil national team change the yellow shirt?

Having unwittingly become a political statement and symbol, it was thought the yellow shirt may no longer be an accessible item for those who do not support Bolsonaro and his right-wing policies to wear. As a result, questions were placed over whether the football team could switch to another design entirely.

There had been calls from some who believe that the football team should adopt a white and blue variation of their kit. Although not immediately recognisable, a white and blue verision would be true to history.

A white and blue version of the Brazil national kit was worn until the 1950s. However, many fans have deemed the kit to be “unlucky” after it was worn in the1950 World Cup final which eventually led to defeat against Uruguay.

As the canary yellow shirt so iconic right across the world, it appears it is around to stay for at least this World Cup and it will be seen later on today as Brazil seek to win their sixth World Cup.

When is Brazil vs Serbia?

Brazil’s captain Thiago Silva will lead his side in their first fixture this evening against Serbia. The match will start at 7pm GMT on Thursday 24 November and will be available to watch on BBC One and BBC iPlayer for those wishing to stream.

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