ANNECY: Iceland’s march to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals has caught the football world by surprise — and left new-found fans struggling to get their hands on a replica shirt.
Iceland’s eye-catching blue playing shirt has become the tournament’s must-have item after their shock 2-1 win over England in the last 16 thanks to Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s winning goal.
Because of the Nordic nation’s European Championship success in beating England demand for the shirts has been almost 2,000 percent higher than expected, Iceland team press officer Omar Smarason said on Friday.
And that could go higher as Iceland prepare to face hosts France in Paris on Sunday for a place in the semi-finals.
Internet orders for shirts have swamped sport company Ehf, Iceland’s official jersey distributor, and Edrea, the Italian manufacturers.
“Based on the number of emails and Facebook messages we’ve been getting, yes, we are sold out,” Smarason said.
“Demand is 1800 percent over what was predicted, which is good on one hand, but bad for everyone who has not got the shirt they wanted yet.
“We have every faith in Errea and we’re sure everyone will get their shirt eventually.”
Iceland’s tale is similar to the plight sportswear firm Puma suffered when unfancied Premier League winners Leicester City won this season’s title.
Puma, who make Leicester’s shirts, ran out of replica kits in January, four months before the end of the English league season.-AFP