Germany’s warm up game against Sweden on Wednesday 16th August 2006 could be off, due to a row over football boots.
Adidas, the German football boot company that sponsors the national team, have insisted that the entire squad wear Adidas football boots for the game. With all international players at this level, having personal sponsorship deals with their own choice boot manufacturer, this agreement with Adidas has caused major rifts in the German camp.
“The whole team have spoken out for a free choice of boots,” said the German general manager, Oliver Bierhoff.
It has been reported that several leading players have held talks with the German footballing authorities, Jens Lehmann, Bernd Schneider and Torsten Frings and Golden Boot winner Miroslav Klose. Word is that the German players have threatened to boycott the match unless the players can select their own football boots.
If Adidas succeed in forcing the players to wear football boots that they have not personally selected, I think it will have two effects;
1. I will be surprised if the performance is a good one, knowing what it is like to have to get used to new football boots. It may also be in the back of the players minds, that they are being forced against their will, so a poor performance can easily be blamed on the football boots.
2. Having forced the issue with the German national team, football boot manufacturers may well decide to try and enforce this policy with other national teams and perhaps lead to entire football boot brand sponsorship deals with clubs.
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