Blog: Footy fans warned about shoddy shirts

Joe Ayling | 28 May 2009

As many as one in five football fans at last night's Champions League Final in Rome could have been wearing fake football shirts, estimates a textiles testing firm.

And according to Manchester-based Shirley Technologies such fakes pose a risk to the thousands of fans sporting them.

"Within days of Manchester United confirming their place in the Champions League final, unofficial merchandise - including shirts - is plain to see around the UK, and, given the status of Manchester United, around the world," said Asif Shah of Shirley.

"There is no way the unofficial shirts could be fully tested for harmful chemicals, or audited to ensure ethical manufacture, in the period between the semi-finals and those shirts first appearing. A fake sports shirt, no matter how convincing it looks, can contain a huge range of hidden dangers for the buyer and wearer - and be a death sentence for the maker."

Shah says a genuine shirt will be tested for its pH value, for harmful dyes, extractable heavy metals and organo tin compounds, which if undetected could be a skin irritant or spark an allergic reaction.

While the issue is unlikely to enter pre-match conversations in the local pub, it certainly gives further reason for clampdown on counterfeit goods.

By Joe Ayling, news editor.



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