Xherdan Shaqiri has brought some light relief to the grave controversy surrounding the number of ripped Switzerland shirts in his side’s Euro 2016 match against France on Sunday night.
An unprecedented tally of four ripped strips was about the most incisive thing to come out of the dreary 0-0 draw, leaving kit manufacturer Puma firmly in the spotlight.
However, Stoke City winger Shaqiri delivered a wry piece of business advice after the game to the red-faced shirt-maker: “I hope Puma does not produce condoms.”
Hear, hear. Admir Mehmidi and Breel Embolo each required a new shirt during play, while new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka had the misfortune to rip two jerseys in contests that were something less than fierce.
A Puma spokesman told the Guardian: “Five Puma teams have played 10 games in this tournament without such problems. Our product people are currently investigating the shirt material. We will provide a further update when we have one.”
Puma’s traditional rivals Adidas didn’t come out of the evening unscathed, either, as one of their supplied match balls – the ‘Beau Jeu‘, worth £105 – burst after a tackle from Valon Behrami on Antoine Griezmann.
And just to round out the shambles, the pitch in Lille was looked as sure under-foot as a ball pool in a children’s soft play centre.
They could hardly blame the intensity of the play, yet that is what Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer had the temerity to attempt as he commented post-game: “It can happen. It means it was a fight on pitch.”
The draw saw both France and Switzerland reach the last 16 of Euro 2016 at a canter, while groupmates Albania must now sweat on results elsewhere to see if they can progress as one of the best-performing third-placed teams.
Source: The Telegraph');