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Top five jerseys on parade at the Africa Cup of Nations

Friday 20th January 2017
The 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations has certainly been below par in so many areas such as the level of football on display, officiating as well as turnout at stadiums. However, one key aspect some participating countries seem to have gotten right is their choice of jerseys for the showpiece.

Bar Senegal, every other team has struggled to gel in Gabon. Defending champions, Cote d'Ivoire, were simply appalling against Emmanuel Adebayor's Togo while star-studded Algeria, which parades the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani haven't done any better and are on the brink of elimination after picking just one point from two games.

The tournament's officiating hasn't particularly helped the quest of some these nations. This is due to the fact that staggering six penalties have been awarded in just 12 games thus far - averaging one in every two matches. But even with some of the top guns possibly on their way out of Gabon and potentially missing out on the crown, they might still be pardoned and instead be applauded for parading some of the finest kits at the competition.

Here are the top five.

5 - Mali (Home)

Mali began their campaign with an impressive scoreless draw against Egypt. The West African nation appeared on their traditional yellow kit but this time it was given a masters touch by French sportswear company, Airness. The company splashed a big eagle across the middle which is the symbol of the country's football.

4 - Ghana (Home)

Ghana stormed Gabon with an interesting new home kit which is predominantly white. Inspired by the team's nickname, the Black Stars, the jersey designed by Puma boasts a single black star on the chest and a full set on the upper back against a dark grey backdrop. Coached by ex-Chelsea coach, Avram Grant, Ghana began their campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Uganda.

3 - Senegal (Home)

Motivated by the country's rich cultural heritage, Senegal's 2017 AFCON home kit is completely unique - featuring an impressive graphic print on the upper right side which denotes a roaring lion. The left sleeve is green for the most part which is certainly another interesting touch. The kit designed by UAE-based Romai Sports was donned by the Terenga Lions in their 2-0 win over Zimbabwe.

2 - DR Congo (Home)

You don't get to see many national teams use jerseys designed by Irish company, O'Neills. Well, DR Congo does and it's simply amazing. The Leopard's haven't only been impressive on the pitch but also with their classic home kit. The vibrant and eye-catching jersey features the country's colours, red, yellow and light blue as well as a flag on the left chest and the official crest on the other.

1 - Cote d'Ivoire (Home)

Cote d'Ivoire have been far from spectacular thus far in Gabon but the Elephants could be overlooked thanks to their magnificent home kit on display. The jersey which is another product of German company, Puma, consists of two stylised elephant tusks on the upper back, connecting a green block at the top with the orange base colour. Green is also present in the traditional collar, a line on each sleeve and the sleeve cuffs.
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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