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Honey, I Forgot The Change Kits

27 October, 2001: Bayern are in defense of their Bundesliga title away to 1. FC Köln and would win, but it was the match's aesthetics that would be remembered.

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The last time Bayern were defending a Champions League title, Stefan Effenberg was the captain and Oliver Kahn was in goal. In some ways, not much else has changed; Bayern have one of the best goalkeepers in the world, have several standout German midfielders, and employ Claudio Pizarro once again.

On this occasion in Cologne, Bayern equipment manager Charly Ehmann was absolutely positive that Effzeh would be sporting white kits:

"The last ten matches we played in Cologne, they played in a white kit every time"

Ehmann wasn't in Cologne, but the staff found out one hour before kickoff that Köln would be in red tops and socks with white shorts. Bayern had only brought their wine-red kits which featured dark grey shorts and those two colors in hoops on the socks.

The head referee for the match, veteran Lutz Michael Fröhlich, determined that there wasn't the necessary contrast between the two teams and Bayern would have to use their away kits for the match. Only there was a problem: they were never packed.

Uli Hoeneß defended his kit man:

"It was our fault, our kit man didn't have the time to package two different sets of uniforms"

And this is understandable, because there shouldn't have been a need to; even with Köln's change of heart, the two kits weren't really all that similar. There was, in fact, likely more of a contrast with the kits that were disallowed than what FCB would have worn had they been able to change.

The primary kits were new for Bayern in the 2001-2002 season, but the change kits remained a traditional red and white striped piece. Seeing as 1. FC Köln were in white shorts, these are truly the kits that should have been disallowed.

Moving further down the line, the third kits were the most similar of all to what Köln wore that October afternoon.

Kickoff was delayed seven minutes while Uli Hoeneß and the masseuse feverishly rummaged through the team's gear to find the white practice pennies. Luckily, though they didn't have numbers, the tank tops did happen to have the Opel logo on the front- saving the sponsorship department some likely headaches on Monday.

A match report from die Welt's Alexander Steudel made the observation that Köln's stubbornness when refusing to change to their customary white kits may have upset the Football Gods as they couldn't mark Bayern's players all match, maybe because their uniform numbers were covered up.

In the actual match, Claudio Pizarro slipped his markers on a free kick from Michael Tarnat to score in the 27th minute, and doubled the lead in the 70th with his second. He nearly had a hattrick later on but shot just wide, and Bayern cruised to a 2-0 win.

This was Effzeh's fifth consecutive loss and Bayern remained at the top of the table. Köln would get relegated at season's end and Bayern would go on to finish third and two points behind champions Dortmund and one behind runners up Leverkusen.

Statistics from the match can be found here and highlights are below:

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