Football may or may not be coming home, but the English Football Association has nonetheless been hit with a $70K fine by FIFA after players representing the Three Lions at the World Cup were seen wearing “unauthorized” socks.
The players in question, midfielders Dele Alli and Eric Dier, and forward Raheem Sterling, were seen wearing branded ankle support socks over their official Nike-branded socks during England’s 2-0 quarterfinal win over Sweden.
FIFA stated that the fine was for “breaching media and marketing regulations and the FIFA equipment regulations.”
According to FIFA, the players “continued to display unauthorized commercial branding on playing equipment items before and during the quarterfinal match between Sweden and England.”
The socks the players were seen wearing were TRUsox, British-made non-slip performance socks that are also frequently worn by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez and Welsh Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.
Earlier in the tournament, the Swedish FA was slapped with a similar fine when several Swedish players were seen wearing the same socks. FIFA maintains strict sponsorship protocols regarding the brands and products players are pictured with during matches. Last week, the Croatian soccer federation was hit with a $70K fine after its players were seen drinking “non-authorized beverage products” during Croatia’s Round of 16 meeting with Denmark.
World Cup semifinal opponents England and Croatia’s fines over sponsorship protocols are both approximately 10 times the fine that the Russian soccer federation was hit with after its fans were seen unfurling a banner featuring neo-Nazi messaging.
Argentina was hit with the biggest fine of the tournament when it was fined $105K over fans who hurled projectiles and made anti-gay chants.
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