After several eye-catching matches and results – not least Netherlands’ spectacular despatching of Germany and England’s victory over Spain – in the UEFA Nations League over the past five days or so, it seems as if this competition is here to stay. Most of the sides involved in the tournament appear to be taking it seriously, and it certainly makes a difference to the usual soul-crushing dullness of friendly internationals.
But the other eye-catching aspect of these fixtures was the frankly abominable badges being sported by some national sides, thanks to what we can only put down to myopia, colour-blindness or outright sadism on the part of the people who designed them.
One has to assume that some of UEFA’s constituent Football Associations aren’t particularly bothered about having creations that would be put to shame by a child on Etch-A-Sketch emblazoned on their kit.
Here are our picks of the worst of the worst.
To be fair, from a certain perspective, in a certain light, after a certain amount of hallucinogenic drugs, you could make an argument that this isn’t all that bad.
There’s a touch of the Art Deco to this badge, and the colour scheme is a classic. But it’s a bit too much like Bournemouth’s crest for our liking, and the Cherries’ effort is famously one of the weakest in the Premier League.
Okay, we like the symbolism of the Ararat mountain front-and-centre. In case you didn’t know, it’s a place of significance for the Armenian people.
But, well, the colour scheme, derived from the national flag, is tough to work with, and the designers haven’t done a great job of it – to our eyes at least. Moreover, that ball looks bloody ridiculous. It says ‘football’ on the badge, you don’t need to show an actual football.
Why not incorporate another national symbol or moment of historical importance? Like a silhouette action shot of Henrikh Mkhitaryan when he did that scorpion kick thing for Man United?
Who decided on that font?
Honestly, they’d have been better off using Comic Sans, and that’s basically a human rights violation.
And what’s with the white-on-blue-on-dark-blue colouring? Estonia has a great colour scheme for its flag and kit: blue, black, white. Why not use it on the emblem?
What is even going on here?
Is that a dove? Fair enough, there’s probably some meaning behind that. But if you’re going to pop a glorified pigeon onto your crest, at least leave some space for the name of the association.
It looks like the designer, who was presumably an adolescent relative of one of the FA’s bigwigs, got carried away with birds and palm fronds, then realised he had to squeeze in six letters somewhere. But hey, at least they tried.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t necessarily on the same designed-by-your-drunken-uncle-after-a-night-on-the-gin level as some of the other entries here.
But, dear lord, it’s as dull as a misty November morning on an industrial estate in Slough.
Georgia has a great flag. One of the best. But it’s as if the country’s FA asked the artist to come up with something that would literally send their opponents to sleep on the pitch.
One of the most striking elements of Spain v England on Monday night was not the newfound composure on the ball displayed by Three Lions midfielders, but rather how much better the English FA’s logo is.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Three Lions’ badge is iconic. As for that abstract pile of sh*te the RFEF are persisting with, well, it’s an abstract pile of sh*te.
Luckily, Spain don’t actually wear it on their shirts – thank heaven for small mercies.
Admittedly, a bit of Cyrillic text improves the look of any badge by approximately 12%, but all that would achieve in Bulgaria’s case is to raise the BFU’s logo to a rating of 12 out of 100.
The ball at the centre looks like it has just been copied straight from the first entry on the first page of results when you type ‘football’ into the search bar on KrazyGraphicsForKiddies.com. Meanwhile, minimal thought has been given to the shape of the crest – they’ve just gone with a circle there, Clive.
Presumably, the Bulgarian FA spent most of their budget on keeping Dimitar Berbatov in luxury cigarillos.
=2. Ireland and Israel
In themselves, these logos aren’t particularly atrocious. But they’ve clearly come off the same Photoshop template.
Easy money for the graphic designer tasked with producing them, but each association must have been more than a little peeved when they realised they’d been mugged off.
One can only presume that some sort of shame-induced black hole will open up should Ireland and Israel end up facing off in the future (they haven’t met since 2005).
For what it’s worth, the FAI’s old crest was about a million times better.
Yeah, we get it, the Kosovan FA isn’t exactly made of money. They’re not going to be blowing millions on a high-powered creation from a massive design company.
Still, if you gave me a tenner, I’m pretty sure I could knock up something of a comparable standard to this mess. The stars look copied from Microsoft Word, the ball is literally a scribble and the shape is a circle.
There have better efforts from teenagers creating their own designs for made-up clubs they’ve created in Pro Evo.