Northern Ireland fans still ‘shirty’ over new Euro 2016 kit

Northern Ireland team members in the new Euro 2016 home kit
Northern Ireland team members in the new Euro 2016 home kit

Following the launch of an online petition demanding the withdrawal of the new Northern Ireland home kit, disgruntled supporters have now set up a Facebook page calling for fans to boycott the Adidas creation.

Within three days of its launch on Tuesday, almost 6,500 people had signed the petition: ‘Get Northern Ireland a proper kit for Euro 2016.’

The new green, white and blue jersey, which retails at £55, has been described by many fans as a “monstrosity” and a “terrible design”.

According to the Irish Football Association, the style is a throwback to the “classic navy blue and green design” which is “designed to create impact on pitch next summer”.

The man behind the petition is a Banbridge native now living in Birmingham.

Ian McKinney, said: “It has too many colours, a terrible design, and it’s totally out of touch with what fans wanted.”

The petition states: “Northern Ireland fans were amazed and delighted when our wee country qualified for Euro 2016. It’s our first tournament for 30 years and for many of us, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Let’s get ourselves the kit we deserve, not this awful mess!”

One typical comment reads: “Mishmash of a pattern, made up of colours which don’t even match. We need a striking kit which gives the players a sense of authority on the pitch not one which will make the team look like they haven’t removed their training kit!!”

When the petition reached 6,000 signatures, Mr Kinney urged fans to “bombard the IFA and Adidas again with the link to the petition - make them listen,” and join the Facebook page: “Boycott the Northern Ireland Euro 2016 Shirt”.

The much-maligned kit will be on show for the first time at Windsor Park for tonight’s friendly against Latvia.

The IFA said: “The new home shirt design pays tribute to designs from the 80s when the team last reached a major international competition at the 1986 FIFA World Cup Finals in Mexico.”

Launching the new away kit on Thursday - a white shirt with green sleeves - the IFA posted a picture of the shirt on social media, posing the question: “Better?” The response was a resounding “yes”.

Gary McAllister of the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs expressed no view on the new kit, but said they have lobbied both the IFA and Adidas “on a number of issues” relating to merchandise.

“There are issues around the affordability of kits and training gear, especially for those buying for a family,” he said.