June 22, 2018 / 2:55 PM / a year ago

Brazil, Costa Rica raise eyebrows by playing in away kits

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group E - Brazil vs Costa Rica - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 22, 2018 Brazil's Neymar celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) - Supporters were in for a surprise on Friday as Brazil and Costa Rica walked out for their World Cup Group E clash in St. Petersburg wearing away colors despite no apparent clash in their home kits.

Brazil, instantly recognizable in their famous yellow shirts and blue shorts, were kitted out in an all-blue number for the match at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. Costa Rica swapped their red shirt and blue shorts for all-whites.

Asked about the reason behind the decision, a FIFA spokesperson told Reuters by email: “The colors are actually shared with the teams in April and are only reconfirmed at the match coordination meeting on the day before the match.”

The spokesperson added that the decision on kits is based on a variety of factors, including potential color clashes and requests from teams.

“It also takes into account the need to keep a certain balance by allowing the teams to use their home and away kits. In general, FIFA endeavor to ensure that each team wears its official team kit at least once during the group stage,” they said.

An off-color Brazil needed dramatic late goals by Philippe Coutinho and Neymar to earn their first win of the World Cup and go to the top of Group E with four points.

Costa Rica have none and crashed out of the competition.

Australia wore their dark green away kit in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Denmark in Group C. However, according to the Totally Football Show podcast, that decision was to help the color-blind Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney, who would have otherwise struggled to differentiate between canary yellow and white — the home colors of the teams.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Yekaterinburg; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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