The history of the Mexican National Team's forbidden shirt
At the end of the 1990s, the businessman José Antonio García, through the sports brand Garcís, was responsible for designing the shirt that the National Team would use in the Confederations Cup. A complex mission.
Toño, a man of deep-seated football, did not have to give it much thought before finding the perfect design for the green jacket: appealing to the patriotism that El Tri awakens among Mexicans and the point of union that, like it or not, it means, he decided to place at the front of the shirt the national symbol of the eagle devouring a snake
Interviewed by As Mexico, Garcia recalled how, at first, the Ministry of Interior, then in charge of Francisco Labastida Ochoa, gave him the authorization to market the national shield.
"I still have the letter where Gobernación, Licenciado (Francisco) Labastida, gave me the authorization to be able to put the national coat of arms on the shirt. I did all the production, we presented it and it went on sale with a very good response from the people," he said.
But Toño García's innovative and nationalistic design of the T-shirt did not last long. A few days after it was released, several congressmen and senators began to question whether he would have authorized the marketing of the national emblem through the Casaca del Tri.
The legislators based their claim on what they considered a violation of the Law on the National Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem which, in Article 6, clearly establishes that institutions and individuals, with prior authorization from the Ministry of the Interior and strictly adhering to the provisions of Articles 2 and 5 of this Law, may reproduce the National Coat of Arms when it contributes to the worship and respect of said National Symbol, as well as to the dissemination of its origin, history and meaning".
"In other countries, like England, the United States use the shield even on their pants and there is no problem, but here the deputies and senators made a scandal and sent me another letter from the Governor's Office where they told me I had 15 days to get the shirt off the market," explained García.
The businessman, who owned Atlante at the time, had to obey the authorities' order and had to remove the national team's shirts from all the stores where they were sold.
"But about 30,000 had already been sold, so I took the ones that were left over to the United States and they flew there, bought them very quickly and that was the end of that production I did. In total, I sold about 50,000 shirts," he said.
Twenty years later, Toño García is still proud of his controversial design for the national team's shirt.
"It became known as the 'forbidden shirt of the national team' and today you still get on the Internet and see that it is sold among collectors and is very well priced," he concluded.