Cameroon won the 2002 AFCON wearing sleeveless shirts that were later banned

Cameroon’s sleeveless jersey in 2002 was one of the most iconic and easily recognisable kits in international football history.

Twenty-years ago, Cameroon headed to the Africa Cup of Nations in Mali to defend their title from two years earlier, which they had won via a penalty-shootout victory over Nigeria.

They boasted a young squad filled with stars like Arsenal’s Lauren, Rigobert Song and a young Samuel Eto’o, all eager to show their dominance once again.

And that is exactly what they did, cruising to their fourth AFCON title while wearing a unique kit which gave them the appearance and possibly the ability of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Yellow socks, red shorts and a sleeveless green top – in other words a vest – ensured that all eyes were on a rampant Cameroon as they clinched another trophy.

The Indomitable Lions wore it across all of their matches that tournament, including the final against Senegal, but the ever-joyless FIFA decided they had to ditch it for the 2002 World Cup just a few months later.

FIFA spokesperson Keith Cooper said at the time that the kit was rejected because “they’re not shirts, they’re vests.”

Cooper added: “You can always expect something different from Cameroon, not only in terms of their shirts,” in a half-compliment half-jibe towards the Kings of Africa.

The decision by FIFA meant the sponsors had to get creative with a new design ahead of the World Cup.

But in a huge ‘F* you’ to FIFA, Puma decided to merely stitch on black sleeves, allowing it to still have the appearance of a vest.

From up close it also provided a striking contrast to the bluish green and fluorescent yellow tones.

Do you think Cameroon's vest is the greatest AFCON kit ever? Let us know in the comments section.

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Unfortunately for the side, their new look did not provide a similarly successful outcome as a few months prior, crashing out of the World Cup group stage following a 2-0 loss to Germany and a draw with Republic of Ireland.

In a hilarious turn of events, Cameroon then decided to line up for the 2004 edition of AFCON in what can only be described as a onesie, thus proving Cooper’s statement correct.

The national team was fined and even docked points in their World Cup qualification group for wearing the one-piece top and shorts, before FIFA rescinded their decision and ended two years of kit controversy.

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