It’s the World Cup, in case you hadn’t noticed, and another thing you may not have noticed, is fans like to display support for their team proudly upon their chest.
I’m not talking scrawling a message in biro or even tattooing the three lions on your skin, I’m talking football shirts.
World Cup kits have the tendency to attract a certain amount of attention, whether they’re vintage or brand new.
If they have the name of your favourite player on, well then they’re even more special – and if your favourite player has worn the same shirt… imagine!
An actual football shirt worn by a real player, during the real World Cup, not one your mate picked up in JD.
And while some people have jobs that might allow them the opportunity to get close enough to a player to cheekily ask for the shirt off their back, there’s a time and place to do it.
However, as the Daily Mail reports, one World Cup referee had the balls to do just that.
Morocco played Portugal yesterday, (June 20). Portugal won 1-0 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo goal – something not exactly strange.
What is strange though, is Morocco’s Nordin Amrabat, who also plays for Watford, has claimed match referee Mark Geiger asked Ronaldo for his shirt during the first half of yesterday’s game.
Ref, at least wait til the end of the match!
Amrabat suffered a concussion during the game, so had to wear a scrum cap, but still played on. He spoke to Dutch TV after Morocco’s defeat about the strange moment, saying:
I do not know what [referee Mark Geiger] is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano Ronaldo, and I hear from Pepe that he asked in the first half if he should have his shirt.
What are we talking about? At the World Cup? It’s not a circus here.
It’s a bold move from the ref. Especially as there are nicer kits out there.
Check out some of our favourites here:
It’s not the first time some shirt swapping has happened at this year’s tournament, and we’re still only in the group stages.
Suspecting a scout from Sweden was watching their practice, South Korea head coach, Shin Tae-yong, told his players to swap shirts, making them use different numbers on their jerseys to confuse anyone who might be watching from afar.
Shin said, according to Reuters:
We switched them around because we didn’t want to show our opponents everything and to try and confuse them.
They might know a few of our players but it is very difficult for Westerners to distinguish between Asians and that’s why we did that.
It makes sense, more sense than a referee swapping shirts at least. Though I’m sure a few players would love to make their own decisions on the pitch.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.