LILLE: Football kit manufacturer Puma is investigating why the shirts of at least four Swiss players got ripped in Sunday’s goalless draw against France at Euro 2016.
The Guardian reported that the Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri in an interview remarked: “I hope Puma does not produce condoms.”
The game, which saw Switzerland join France into the knockout phase, was not unduly rough or dirty, yet three times in the first half Swiss players had to go to the sidelines to swap their torn tops. “Seeing our shirts being ripped in a match last night was the first time we have experienced such an issue.
Five PUMA teams have played 10 games in this tournament without such problems,” the German manufacturer said in a statement.
“Our product people are currently investigating the shirt material. We will provide a further update when we have one.” Rival manufacturer Adidas, who provides kit to nine of the 24 teams competing in France, told Reuters that suppliers usually provide three shirts per player, per game.
“The standard usage for these shirts will be a player wears one in the first half, another in the second half with a third being saved as a spare, should it be needed on the pitch, or utilised as a giveaway item,” spokesperson Katja Schreiber said in an email.
“Every shirt worn during the tournament will carry unique match day customisation, hence the need to provide shirts on a match-by-match basis.” Asked if it was possible for a player to run out of shirts during a game, Schreiber referred back to football’s European governing body.
“This is a process that is put in place by UEFA although federations have a standard approach to utilising these jerseys, they can be used in any way required during the course of 90 minutes,” she said.
Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who finished the game with his shirt intact after a man-of-the-match performance against the French, said he saw no reason to change kit supplier, despite the odd rip.
“It can happen,” he told reporters. “It means it was a fight on the pitch. Of course, today we had a lot, I can’t say we have to change because Puma is great.”-Reuters