Most Nigerians are of the opinion that the Nigerian super eagles are “unlucky” when the team plays with their away kit as opposed to the home kit with which they always seem to win.
So, I decided to have a look, and find out how true this is.
Taking the stats of all games the team has played in the last one year in a major tournament- the FIFA World cup in Russia 2018 and the CAF African Cup of Nations in Egypt 2019.
What I found?
How about inferences?
An unpaired t-test was used to compare means of data from all 10 matches in both the FIFA 2018 world cup in Russia and CAF African Cup of Nations 2019 in Egypt. The results are shown below:
From a statistical standpoint, As seen previously, the super eagles lost all matches in both the WC and AFCON in which they used the away kit and won all matches in which they used the home kit, the team only had a statistical difference in performance in terms of goals scored (P=0.03) and conceded (P=0.007) between both kits.
They scored significantly more (3.34 times as much) goals per game with the home kit than the away kit and conceded significantly less (4 times lower) goals per game with the home kit than the away kit. Although they had more shots, average possession, passes, less fouls in all matches with the home kit, the difference was not statistically significant.
AND YES, THE KIT USED DOES AFFECT THE MATCH RESULT, STATISTICALLY SPEAKING.
With a Chi Squared test of independence carried out to check for an association between match result and kit used (p=0.002), and a contingency coefficient of 0.702, whether they win or not depends very much on the kit they use and to a very strong degree (70.2%).
NOW FOR THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT
In normal bright conditions, the human eye is most sensitive to light or objects emitting or reflecting light at the wavelength of 555nm (HEX: #b3ff00, RGB: 179, 255, 0 ).
For this reason, colors at that wavelength appear brighter to us than others and are easily visible (think of the shiny green jackets of construction workers and traffic controllers)
Interestingly, while the green stripes on the home kit as well as the sock colors bear a marked similarity to this hyper-visible color, only the numbers on the away kit bears that similarity.
The implication Is that When playing with the home kit, this increases the visibility of team mates and hence the ability to pass and move the ball around better shown by the better passing stats. In turn, this improves possession of the ball and ultimately the chances of scoring are higher as shown by having 3.34 times more goals per game with the away kit.
Again, there is more contrast with the pitch when playing with the home kit (think of contrast as what makes you see a black marker writing on a white board).
As opposed to the away kit which bears more similarity to the turf on the pitch, less contrast and less visibility of team mates by anyone in possession of the ball, less ability to pass the ball and less possession and less overall chances of scoring.
Quite simply, a lighter shade of green for the away kit would definitely go a decent way in improving the teams performances when playing in the away kit.
Maybe this would make less “unlucky” and more competitive with our away kit.