This UEFA guideline could explain the lack of stripes on the back of Sunderland AFC's 2019/20 home kit

Sunderland AFC have unveiled their new home kit ahead of the 2019/20 season - and fans have been quick to notice the omission of stripes on the back of the shirt.

By Mark Donnelly
Tuesday, 21 May, 2019, 20:04
Sunderland AFC have unveiled their 2019/20 home kit

The new design, produced by Adidas, has wider stripes than the current Black Cats' kit and has been met with mixed reviews by supporters.

One key aspect focused on by fans is the plain white back, with the club's traditional red and white stripes only seen at the bottom of the reverse of the shirt.

READ: Full details and pictures of Sunderland AFC's 2019/20 home kitAnd there could be a simple explanation as to why Sunderland's latest kit features only limited stripes on the back.

Governing body UEFA have long been pushing for stronger implementation of their kit guidelines, which advise against stripes or other distractions on the reverse of kits.

The UEFA guidelines state: "Numbers must be of a single colour with the required minimum contrast with the background colour. Around the figure(s), there must be a zone free from any item and comprising a single-colour background."

Such guidelines imply that stripes would not be permitted - and UEFA have previously implemented these with sides such as Monaco and Valencia forced to change kits in order to abide with these regulations in the Champions League.

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MORE: Latest Wembley ticket news as Black Cats handed additional allocationThe Premier League started to try and implement these guidelines several years ago and EFL clubs now look to be following suit - which could explain the plain back on Sunderland's new kit.

It is worth noting that these are only guidelines and not set rules, with clubs able to include stripes on the reverse of shirts should they so wish.

Newcastle United, for example, have included stripes on their back for several years - but a number of other clubs have already changed designs to comply with these regulations.

Indeed, it may be that Sunderland and Adidas have simply included the plain back as a design decision rather than to comply with these guidelines.

The club's current shirt has a plain red back, with the 2016/17 season the last time the Black Cats had a fully-striped back.

Sunderland's new shirt is available in the club store from Wednesday, May 22 and online now.