Higgins all kitted out as he backs Costa Rica
COSTA Rica is running out of soccer jerseys as their team made it to the World Cup quarter finals – but President Michael D Higgins has his very own kit.
With sales of the jersey up 2,000pc and manufacturers unable to keep up with the demand, the President has not one, but two of the shirts.
During his official visit to Central America last October, the President backed the Costa Rican soccer team and assured his "moral support" to the nation.
President Higgins told the Irish Independent last night he was "delighted that Costa Rica has qualified for the quarter finals of the World Cup".
Last Sunday, the Central American nation beat Greece by five goals to three in penalties, ensuring their place in the World Cup quarter finals for the first time – an achievement many in Ireland fondly remember from 1990.
"It is great to see a country with a small population being successful at a major international sporting event," President Higgins said.
"They also deserve great credit for having survived such a large part of the match with 10 men."
Costa Rica, whose kit is made by Lotto Sport Italia, is the only team in the last eight whose kit is not made by a major brand. They play the Netherlands on Saturday.
Mr Higgins, while addressing the country's President Laura Chinchilla last year, said: "While Ireland will not be among those competing in the World Cup finals next year, a matter of great sadness to this president, Costa Rica will be represented in Brazil. "I assure you of my moral support."
Both he and his wife Sabina were presented with two of the national jerseys after their soccer association heard him congratulating the national team.