Champions League Kits Boast Plain Backs as UEFA Enforces Rules More Strictly

From what we could see in this and last week's Champions League playoff matches, UEFA appears to act more rigorous concerning the application of the kit rules this year.

In fact, no team in this season's Champions League playoff matches, the first round that takes place under the official Champions League competition regulations, sported a shirt with stripes or other distractions on the back, including Shakhtar Donetsk (orange-black striped), Valencia (orange-red stripes) and Monaco.

Monaco and Valencia Wear Adjusted Shirts in Champions League

AS Monaco's shirts are seen in the locker room prior to the match against Valencia.

Monaco's shirt last night was unusual in particular, featuring a large white block on the lower back, with the upper section behind the player names still boasting parts of the iconic diagonal red design. Last year, Monaco donned its regular 14-15 home kit in the Champions League with no problems.

Monaco's shirt in the 14-15 Champions League, 15-16 Ligue 1 and 15-16 Champions League

Valencia also sported an adjusted version of their new striped 15-16 away shirt with a solid yellow back, similar to Celtic and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Valencia's 15-16 away kit in La Liga and Champions League

Whereas the UEFA Kit Regulations haven't been changed for this season, it seems that UEFA's football governing body acts more strictly regarding their implementation.

The rules (last changed 2012) state that the "numbers must be of a single color with the required minimum contrast with the background color", according to an unspecified calculation. Additionally, "around the figure(s), there must be a zone free from any item and comprising a single-color background if so required".

We'll have to wait how this change in rules application will affect other teams' uniforms come the start to the Champions League group stage. Barcelona's new 15-16 away kit comes to mind as an example for legibility-hindering back stripes.

Do you think it's a clever move from UEFA to enforce the rules more strictly? What's more important, legibility or freedom of design? Let us know in the comments below.