FC Schalke 04 in yellow and black jerseys in the Bundesliga? Olaf Thon, Mike Büskens, Mark Wilmots and Co. with the Karlsruher SC club crest on their chests? What seems like a belated and bad April Fool’s joke actually took place on April 18, 1998. Due to an embarrassing jersey breakdown, the Royal Blues had to wear their opponent’s jerseys on Matchday 31 of the 1997/1998 season – yellow of all places!
Almost embarrassed, the stars of FC Schalke, who were the reigning UEFA Cup winners at the time, stepped onto the pitch at Karlsruher SC’s Wildpark Stadium. Only goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was allowed to keep his own jersey, as he wore a harmless orange.
Back in April 1998, referee Herbert Fandel was responsible for the Gelsenkirchen team not being allowed to play in their usual blue and white jerseys.
The referee’s jerseys were too similar to those of the hosts – KSC is also known to play in blue and white.
Since Schalke’s kit manager did not have any suitable alternative jerseys with him, the disaster took its course from the S04 point of view: In order to whistle the game properly, Fandel agreed to the suggestion that FC Schalke could instead wear the yellow alternative jerseys of the home team, which of all things also had several stripes and a collar in black color.
FC Schalke only plays 0-0 in yellow jerseys
It is logical that these jerseys inevitably reminded of the great archrival Borussia Dortmund! But that’s not all: The Schalke players and supporters alike disliked the wearing of the KSC coat of arms on their chests.
Manager legend Rudi Assauer could not calm down: “It’s a joke, a cheek. If our sponsor files a claim for damages, we will forward it to the DFB or Mr. Fandel.”
Just as uncomfortable as the Schalke stars around captain and ex-world champion Olaf Thon was wearing the foreign jerseys, the footballing performance of the big favorites was just as pathetic when they were later relegated.
It was 0-0 after 90 minutes – so no Schalke player had to knock on the KSC emblem on their yellow jersey to celebrate a goal.
Mats Yannick Roth