The Irish FA have said that a fans’ petition, started by a Banbridge man, will nave no impact whatsoever on the Northern Ireland kit.
On Monday, the shirt for Euro 2016 was unveiled and was met with widespread condemnation from supporters. Ian McKinney even started a petition which, in just over 24 hours, has gathered over 5,000 signatures.
Ian told the LEADER he was hopeful his petition could persuade the IFA to come up with “something different for the Euros themselves” and use the released kit for the World Cup qualifiers. We took his request to the IFA, but they said the petition will have no sway.
“None whatsoever,” said an IFA spokesperson. “It can’t. The kit was approved in November 2014. The IFA worked with Adidas on a number of designs and consulted with supporters and it take a long time to get through the design, manufacturing and distributon of the products.
“There’s no time to start that process again.”
The spokesperson also highlighted the danger for kit-suppliers Adidas in ‘setting a precedent’ by giving in to fan pressure and altering kit designs.
“We understand the fans’ views and the reasons behind the petition but it’s not going to be changed,” they continued.
“It seems to be a kit that a lot of people don’t like but the important thing is that Northern Ireland are at the Euros.”
With confirmation that the kit will not be changed for the finals, it seems the IFA have lost at least two potential sales from Ian himself and the kit suppliers, many more.
“I had planned to buy two,” he said, “One to wear and one to keep as a memento. I won’t be buying this shirt and in fact I don’t think I’ll ever buy anything from Adidas ever again. Not unless they change it.”
When the shirt was unveiled, Northern Ireland fans took to social media to voice their displeasure, while Ian at first couldn’t believe his eyes.
“A friend sent me a picture of it in a text message and I thought he was winding me up,” he told the ‘LEADER,’ “or that it was a training kit or something. He then sent a link to the Adidas page and I just couldn’t believe my eyes. It was just so ugly. Sometimes kits grow on you the more you see them but this one actually gets worse the more you look at it.
“Aside from the fact that the IFA could have cashed in massively on a good quality shirt, we deserved something decent and standard for our first appearance at a European Championships. This was most definitely NOT the time to experiment with three different shades of blue and a stupid big stripe. We all wanted a shirt we could wear with pride around France - this is most definitely not it.”
The Banbridge man, now living in Birmingham says he was “surprised at how many people were willing to take the time to put their feelings into action” by signing the petition, available by clicking here.