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FOOTBALL

‘I hope Puma don’t make condoms’: Shaqiri

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri says he hoped the country's shirt manufacturer Puma "doesn't make condoms" after several Swiss players ended their Euro 2016 match with France with shredded jerseys.

'I hope Puma don't make condoms': Shaqiri
Puma makes the Swiss shirts. Photo: AFP

Four Swiss players – Admir Mehmedi, Breel Embolo, Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka – had to change their shirts in the first half of the goalless draw in Lille on Sunday.

Recent Arsenal recruit Xhaka had to change his shirt again in the second half.

“I hope Puma doesn't make condoms,” Shaqiri told Switzerland's SRF broadcaster.

Former England striker Gary Lineker took the opportunity to poke fun on Twitter, writing: “Swiss team's Puma shirts tearing like paper. Adidas ball bursting. You can never rely on German efficiency!”

Other Twitter users compared the shirts to Swiss cheese – full of holes.

 

German manufacturer Puma apologized.

“Our five Puma teams have played 10 games at Euro 2016 before this without experiencing this problem,” the company said.

It later  blamed a manufacturing flaw. Its investigation had found that “there was a faulty batch of material in which the yarn was damaged during production”, the company said in a statement.

The Swiss shirts will be needed for at least one more match as the team has qualified for the second round.

Puma's German rival Adidas said Monday it had agreed a four-year deal to remain kit supplier to Germany until 2022 worth more than 50 million euros ($56.5 million) a year.

The agreement with the world champions came in the face of competition from US giant Nike for the prestigious contract.

 

 

 

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FOOTBALL

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said. 

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