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Belgian soccer team's new uniform pays tribute to Tintin, its famous comic export

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS' "THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN")

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Royal Belgian Football Association has unveiled the new uniforms for its national team. The home uniform is red, no change. The team's nickname is the Red Devils, but the uniform in which the Belgian team will travel might appear oddly familiar - medium blue jersey with the white collar, brown shorts and white socks - the working uniform, if you please, of Tintin, the globe-roving reporter created by the Belgian comic artist Herge in 1929.

Tintin's reporting trips took him all over the world, including the Sahara, Iceland, Nepal and Tibet and the moon. His books have sold more than 270 million copies. Tintin's adventures have been praised for being well researched and opening children's eyes to the world, but also criticized for featuring national and ethnic stereotypes.

The CEO of the Belgian association told reporters, I am delighted that our Red Devils will be conquering Europe in a jersey based on one of Belgium's greatest heroes. But I imagine the Belgian team trotting out to play, say, England and the Brits exclaiming (impersonating British accent) no worries, mate. Those Belgian blokes are dressed like reporters.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS' "THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
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