Ajax have been controversially told to remove from the "Three Little Birds" logo from their popular Bob Marley inspired alternate kit in the Champions League this season by UEFA.
The shirt is predominantly black, with the red, yellow and green trim on the shoulder and sleeves representing the colours associated with Marley’s rastafarian heritage.
There is also a motif of three birds stitched into the rear of the jersey, directly below the collar, in reference to the Reggae artist’s 1980 hit.
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The defending Eredivisie champions debuted their new strip over the weekend in their league win over PEC Zwolle on Saturday, but have since been forced to amend it to remove the motif on the players’ edition, sparking frustration amongst fans.
According to Ajax, UEFA do not permit “other expressions” other than the club’s official logo on strips that are used in their competitions.
Under these rules, which fall under Article 7 of the UEFA Equipment Regulations, the European governing body deems the kit to contain illegal imagery.
Its initial release in August was a major success for the Dutch giants, as it sold out within days of going on sale and “four times more” than any other shirt, according to commercial director Menno Geelen.
Marley has cult status amongst Ajax fans, with ‘Three Little Birds’ being endorsed by the supporters over the last decade at the Johan Cruyff ArenA and it is now regularly used as a collective anthem on matchdays.
Legend has it that the chant first was adopted by de Godenzonen after a 0-0 pre-season friendly against Cardiff City at Ninian Park in August 2008, where the stadium DJ put the track on the tannoy at the end of the game, and it has stuck with the fanbase ever since.
Ajax kick off their Champions League campaign away to Sporting this week.
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