Thursday 22 March 2018

Xherdan Shaqiri on Switzerland’s shirts: 'I hope Puma don’t produce condoms'

Granit Xhaka's shirt is clearly ripped during Switzerland's match with France. Getty
Granit Xhaka's shirt is clearly ripped during Switzerland's match with France. Getty

Samuel Stevens

Xherdan Shaqiri, the Switzerland midfielder, has seen the funny side after four of their official Puma shirts ripped during the 0-0 draw with France, saying: “I hope Puma does not produce condoms.”

The stalemate in Lille was overshadowed by a peculiar series of events which saw four shirts ripped apart by the competitive nature of the Group A fixture before the official adidas Beau Jeu match ball also burst when France's Antoine Griezmann was challenged by Valon Behrami.

Priced at a retail price of £105, adidas invest considerable time and effort into ensuring their products have the durability to withstand the strains presented by major tournaments such at the European Championship. Shaqiri, speaking to the Guardian, didn't seem willing to dwell on the saga for too long.

New Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka was forced to change his jersey twice during the match, while Admir Mehmedi and the striker Breel Embolo also suffered a similar fate.

Despite the complications, a point ultimately proved to be enough for both sides to qualify for the round-of-16 with those ties set to be played next weekend.

The condition of the pitch was also a source of frustration as the ball appeared to get stuck on several occasions at the Grand Stade Lille Metropole. France coach Didier Deschamps said: “The pitch is annoying. I don't know who is responsible. We are only in the group stage and it is in a state. "But for a great goalkeeper and a few centimetres, we would have scored goals. You can always criticise but we kept a clean sheet and we finished top of the group.”

Online Editors

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