Friday, 8 June 2012

The Heavy Side of Shirt Swapping

To add to the crass, silly and illogical Shirt Swapping Respect Exchanging campaign from UEFA involving Referees, we are now told that many of the shirts of the national teams are toxic.

Lead, a heavy metal, was found in the team strip of six of the countries — Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, France and Italy.

Karem Benzema giving Collina a lead-infused France shirt

In kits from Spain and Germany, lead exceeded the legal level for children's products. Furthermore, Portuguese and Dutch shirts also contained nickel.

Clarence Seedorf giving Collina a nickel-loaded Netherlands shirt

And what, in return, did Collina give to the players? We don't know! Because BEUC, Europe's consumer watchdog who did the study, did not bother or think to test Referees Adidas shirts. This is mainly because the number of Referees shirts out there is minuscule compared to the number of national team shirts being produced and sold to consumers. This blog also suspects that it has never crossed BEUC's mind (or other people's minds) that Referees would be exchanging jerseys with players.

UEFA's Respect Campaign using Referees' Shirts simply doesn't wash … and neither it seems do the chemically-tainted national team shirts!

Let's count how many times Referees will swap their shirts with players in full view of the public during the 31 matches of EURO 2012. It will be unprecedented if this happens at all. Even if it does happen, the act of Referees "swapping shirts with opponents" does not make any sense.

Referees have a right to know what toxic chemical and/or heavy metals are infused in their Adidas shirts. Therefore BEUC should also test Referees shirts for any toxicity in chemicals and heavy metals.

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