Panama - Hat's Off to Them for Making it This Far
Hats, tailors, canals – Panama’s got it all.
As an analyst who refuses to do any real research, Panama poses quite the problem. I’m not even really sure where Panama is – just vaguely near a canal. But fortune favours the brave, so bravely we march towards the next guide.
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: At the time of writing, Panama have not yet trimmed down their 35-man preliminary squad to the 23 required by FIFA rules. However, I do have a sneaking suspicion that they don’t plan on reducing the squad at all and will attempt to sneak into Russia with as many players as they can to give them the best chance of success. Given that I have not heard of any of these players, I’m not sure that this tactic would really make a difference.
25% of this squad play in the Panamanian domestic league, and all but five players play for clubs outside of the Americas.
There are some great names in the squad, including Rolando Blackburn, Fidel Escobar, and of course, Harold Cummings.
More talent in the name department than on the pitch.
Design & Branding
As a man who knows nothing about Panama, I was hoping the kit design would give me a feel for the country, the people, and the culture.
I get the impression that Panama likes the colour red. There’s quite a lot of it on the shirt so it must be something that Panamanians hold dear.
They also must love football since their badge plonks a big football slap bang in the middle. The text above the badge reads “FEPAFUT”, which is of course the sound a Panamanian makes when sneezing.
The design team have chosen to include a squared pattern on the torso of the shirt, which does bring a needed element of texture to the kit, but unless your nose is pressed deep into the chest of Harold Cummings, it’s a trifle difficult to make out.
With regards to functional design, the white piping around the collar makes it easier for the players to identify which hole their head goes through and which holes their arms go through
I now know less about Panama then I did before I saw the kit.
Sweepstake Pick: Lee Adams
"Some may believe that Brazil are the likely champions, but I have a feeling Panama are going to make a real statement this year." - You've got to admire Lee's optimism.
Marketing is important for the little-know teams like Panama, it allows a wider audience to get to know the team and its associated brand values.
Fortunately, the official Panama football Twitter account knows what the public wants to see – hats. Lots and lots of hats.
Starting with the traditional Panama...
The versatile baseball cap...
And of course, the Russian bearskin…
On the player's side of the Panama marketing campaign, our mate Harold Cummings has been speaking to the press about Panama’s chances in the tournament, and unfortunately he’s rather pessimistic about his country’s tournament potential: “We want to win the games, but if we don't, it'll be a great learning experience for all of us.” Come on Harold! You’ve basically given up already! If you wanted to learn, you should have stayed at school. You don’t play to learn; you play to win. I’m disappointed in you Harold.
The passion of a social media hat gallery is not matched by Harold Cummings’ defeatism.
Fan culture at home is often marked by barbecues and beer-drinking; however, things aren’t quite as pleasant in the stadium. Costa Rica was fined $102,000 during the World Cup qualifiers due to abusive chants directed towards arch-rivals Costa Rica. Not cool Panama.
Stay at home for some awesome barbecues.
It looks to be a short tournament for Panama.