Puma says ripped Swiss shirts due to batch of defective material
By Victoria Bryan
BERLIN (Reuters) - Kit manufacturer Puma said it had traced a problem with ripped shirts for the Swiss team at Euro 2016 to a defective batch of material used only in a limited number of home jerseys for the team.
During the goalless draw against France on Sunday, which saw Switzerland join Les Bleus into the knockout phase, at least four Swiss players had to go to the sidelines to swap their torn tops.
Germany-based Puma said analysis of the jerseys showed there was one batch of material where yarns had been damaged during production, making the garment weaker.
"Puma has checked the inventory of all jerseys of all Puma teams and can assure that such an unfortunate incident does not happen again," it said in a statement on Monday.
Alongside Switzerland, Puma also provides the kits for Austria, Czech Republic, Italy and Slovakia.
Rival manufacturer Adidas, who provides kit to nine of the 24 teams competing in France, told Reuters that suppliers usually provide three shirts per player, per game.
"The standard usage for these shirts will be a player wears one in the first half, another in the second half with a third being saved as a spare, should it be needed on the pitch, or utilised as a giveaway item," spokesperson Katja Schreiber said in an email.
"Every shirt worn during the tournament will carry unique match day customisation, hence the need to provide shirts on a match-by-match basis."
Asked if it was possible for a player to run out of shirts during a game, Schreiber referred back to football's European governing body.
"This is a process that is put in place by UEFA ... although federations have a standard approach to utilising these jerseys, they can be used in any way required during the course of 90 minutes," she said.
Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who finished the game with his shirt intact after a man-of-the-match performance against the French, said he saw no reason to change kit supplier, despite the odd rip.
"It can happen," he told reporters. "It means it was a fight on the pitch... Of course, today we had a lot, I can't say we have to change because Puma is great."
(Additional reporting by Phil O'Connor in Lille, France, Editing by Julien Pretot)