COPA Football Zaire World Cup 1974 Short Sleeve Soccer Shirt

The Infamous Leopards

  • Crafted by our friends at COPA Football
  • Made in Europe 
  • Historically precise 
  • Vintage Style
  • 100% Cotton 

Throughout history, it is not only the winners that are remembered.  Enter into the 1974 World Cup hosted in West Germany. Brazil had just come off of a victory from 1970 - a performance that would solidify that year's team as one of the best to play the game. They, along with host and tournament favorite West Germany, were poised to compete for the World's attention.

But it is the Zaire national team that will live on in infamy after their efforts during this World Cup.

Tensions over withheld bonuses and pressure from the regime back home would lead the team to poor results throughout their time in the group stage.  After losses to both Scotland and Yugoslavia, Zaire's impact on the World Cup was made during the second half of their game against Brazil.

Brazil was up 2-0, and they looked set to continue their scoring with a flat rate kick outside of the Zaire box. The Zaire players, however, had been told that should Brazil win 4-0, they would not be allowed back home.  This caused a sense of desperation to overcome the squad. One of the defenders, a man by the name of Ilanga, decided he would take things into his own hands, and he booted the ball across the field before the Brazilians could even have a chance to hit the flat rate kick.

What was incorrectly classified as African Ignorance at the time would forever be remembered as a low point for the Zaire team and one of the most memorable moments in World Cup history.

Remember history as you bring home one of these retro Zaire World Cup jerseys modeled after the original 1974 design.  Made with care by our friends at COPA, this jersey immortalizes the historic run (and infamous outcome) of the 74' Zaire team.