Saturday, 15 December 2012

Myanmar (Burma)

Home 2010; FBT

Myanmar/Burma football shirt

What's in a name? If you are wondering why the heading has a second name in brackets, it is because even the name of the country is controversial. The country is officially called Myanmar, and has been since the ruling military junta changed it from 'Burma' in 1989.  Those who didn't see the military regime as legitimate rulers still referred to the country as Burma. This included other nations such as the UK and the USA.  The UN, however, went with Myanmar. The military junta was officially dissolved in 2011, but the name remains Myanmar.  A few weeks ago, on a trip there, US President Barrack Obama referred to the nation by both Myanmar and Burma.  Further proof that the name is still a political hot potato. 

The country gained independence from Britain in 1948, but 14 years later became controlled by military figures after a coup. This is the way it remained for years, until recent reforms and a (mostly) democratic election in 2011.  Aung San Suu Kyi, famous for being placed under house arrest for pro-democracy campaigning, led her party to win many seats in their first election.

This political upheaval didn't escape the national football team, and this shirt is proof of that.  The crest found here on the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup shirt, is based on the flag of the time (as shown below).  However, that flag was abandoned on October 21st of that year, and every one of them ordered to be burned. In came the new flag (as seen at the top of the post), and that is the one that features on the more recent kits.  Personally, I am glad to have this shirt due to that interesting piece of history.

This shirt itself is made by Thai brand, FBT, and I think is nice design, but not exactly earth shattering.  It was worn at the aforementioned 2010 Challenge Cup, where Myanmar lost 5-0 to North Korea in the semi finals.  To date, the 60s and 70s were the glory years, when they won the Asian Games twice.  In 2007, they played their first ever World Cup qualifiers, losing heavily to China on aggregate.

Myanmar/Burma football shirt

Myanmar/Burma football shirt

The pre-2010 Myanmar flag, as used on this shirt's crest.

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