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Football on pitch in arena

England are technically the away team for Sunday's Euro final clash against Italy.

This means Italy get first choice on kit colour with blue as the colour of their home strip.

So, the question is whether England will continue to play in their home colour of white or whether they will choose to switch to blue or red.

Manager, Gareth Southgate, may want to look to research to make his decision as a study by our anthropologists has shown that the success of football teams could be influenced by the colour of their shirt.

Colour of success

The research suggests that simply wearing a red shirt can give football teams an advantage, thanks to our deep-rooted biological response to the colour.

In nature, red is often associated with male aggression and display as it is a testosterone-driven signal of male quality, like the red breast of a robin for example. The striking effect of the colour has even been harnessed by soldiers in the past.

The team analysed data on English football league results since the Second World War.

They concentrated on how teams have performed at home when they nearly always wear their main signature kit colour.

The results were surprising: they discovered a significant difference in success levels between red, white, blue and yellow/orange teams, with red teams across the whole of the top 68 clubs winning more often at home. Teams wearing yellow or orange shirts had the worst record.

Lucky colour

So why might wearing red shirts enhance performance? There could be a couple of explanations according to the researchers.

Firstly, over time supporters may have been subconsciously more attracted to a club wearing red, so the club may have been able to bring in more investment as a result.

Secondly, there may be a positive psychological boost from wearing red, or being associated with a red team, that is then reflected on the pitch. Competing against a team in red could also impair performance of the opposition.

Regardless of the teams’ kit colours, millions of people in England, Italy and across Europe will be watching the final on Sunday to find out who will be crowned the ultimate tournament winners.

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