Korea’s 2018 World Cup Kits Revealed [update v.1]

Ki Sung-Yeung and Korea's 2018 World Cup kit

Already circulating out in the internets on the heels of leaked pictures 48 hours ago showing a minimalist red home kit design and a more creative away white kit, Nike officially released pictures showing what team Korea is bringing to Russia this summer. The verdict is…mixed…

Both kits are getting the usual scrutiny, both are getting attention for very different reasons.

Let’s start with the home kit

  • minimalist red with just the trademark swoosh and KFA crest
  • Crest is a departure in that it’s contrast-y black and white rather than it’s usual white and blue
  • Black shorts – as Tavern twitter earlier noted, it will be the first time Korea has competed with that color scheme at the World Cup

While some in the Korean diaspora were ok with Nike’s PR department’s assessment that it’s a modern looking kit, many have taken to social media to blast Nike with simply phoning it in and not even trying. The same congregants are pointing out Adidas’ perceived pizzaz in their World Cup kit designs.

The anger is somewhat mitigated when it comes to the away kit.

  • Right away the away kit looks adventurous in it’s fragmented blue & red hues against a white background that subtly sketches out the contours of the Korean peninsula
  • Staying with the fragmented colors a moment longer, it’s interesting also in abstractly bringing the colors of the taegeukgi flag AND deftly bringing together Korea, both north and south into the frame
  • White socks with a narrow black band highlighted with the Nike swoosh gives it a bit more distinction than the red socks within the home kit- also sporting a black narrow band – it just doesn’t jump out as much

Then there’s that training jacket. That could take the cake for best footballing fashion accessory in that entire media presentation.


The 2018 World Cup kit will make it’s debut on March 24th when Korea lines up as visitors against Northern Ireland. According to Nike: “The entire collection will be available April 6 on nike.com.”

Regretfully we’ll have to leave it here, I hope to return to provide a fashionably late update to last weekend’s KPA action leading into the international break (spoiler alert: Son’s goal against Swansea in the FA Cup quarterfinals SHOULD HAVE COUNTED – another VAR fail).

There’s also the matter of Shin Tae-Yong taking on a new assistant coach, another Real Madrid/Spain assistant coach…


That makes 3 assistant coaches from Spain now helping Shin Tae-Yong. Just in time for World Cup tuneups with friendlies lined up against Northern Ireland (Saturday 10am US EST/ 11pm Korea time) and a stiffer test against Poland (Tuesday 2:45pm US EST/3:45am Korea time). We’ll provide a brief preview of sorts shortly at the Tavern.

PS> Chelsea Ladies attacking mid Ji So-Yun scored a vital UEFA Women’s Champions League goal in a quarterfinals yesterday:


Chelsea Ladies won 0:2 at Montpellier and will play the 2nd leg at home next Wednesday March 28th with a significant aggregrate lead.


UPDATE: it’s friday morning and I just saw the KFA youtube channel released a behind the scenes look at the official unveiling of the 2018 kits. What I missed earlier was the keeper’s all black kit.  It’s remarkably sleek and sharp.



Last but not least, I have a challenge to issue for Tavern goers: I’ve been having trouble trying to figure out the length of the contract the KFA have with Nike. My sources tells me the previous Nike sponsorship/agreement started in 2008 and ended in 2011. I’m having difficulty finding out about the terms of the renewal, since Nike obviously has been supplying the kits ever since.  There is a bit of a rabbithole for anyone who decides to take my challenge as I came across this from prosportsmedia.com in the run up to the Brazil World Cup in 2014:


…it is their kit supply deal which is perhaps most interesting. The 2007 renewal with Nike was agreed at US$27 million over four years, despite rival Adidas reportedly offering a higher sum. The threat of legal action after the Korea Football Association (KFA) failed to enforce Nike’s previous ‘black-out’ clause – banning players from displaying brand logos other than the Nike swoosh – is rumoured to have been behind the decision to accept a lower fee.


Mysteries abound. Happy rabbithole hunting.

Ki Sung-Yeung and Korea’s 2018 World Cup kit
About Roy Ghim 454 Articles
The old Tavern Owner


  1. I will say that I changed my mind SOMEWHAT. I think the red home kit looks better with the black pants and black logo. It is kind of cool to see that for the first time. Having said that, I still think the design of the kit itself is boring. Just kinda wanted to see something fresh, but oh well. I guess I just think a strong re-design can be beneficial- having pride in what you’re wearing can inspire a team. If they feel like they’re wearing something designed and made in a Chinese factor, they might play like it (and honestly, a lot of their kits have looked like that)
    But hell, maybe I think too much. At the end of the day, just hope these guys win. If they win wearing neon pink hanboks, I’ll be happy

  2. But the red tops are satisfactory, simple is good, it could have been worse. The white unis have no distinguishable features.

  3. I’ve done a complete 180 on the home jersey. It’s pretty awesome to see with the black shorts. This is a cool new look with the color scheme. Yes, admittedly, the design is a bit simple and plain. But, it does the job. And the GK kit is awesome too. I’ll definitely be buying one.

  4. Have to say that the keeper’s kit looks the coolest one of the three. Possible to swap either one of the home or away jerseys out for an all-black kit with some fuchsia red or neon-blue markings? lol

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