Customs officials seize millions of fake football shirts

Is the shirt on your back the real thing? German customs investigators have seized almost 10 million counterfeit football shirts and scarves of major European clubs, news magazine Focus reported on Saturday.

Customs officials seize millions of fake football shirts
Photo: DPA

The magazine said customs investigators have uncovered a flourishing business in fake football shirts. Since autumn 2008, officials have seized an estimated 10 million counterfeit football fan merchandize including shirts and scarves.

Citing the German customs criminal office, the magazine said more than half of the seized goods sported badges and logos of major German Bundesliga clubs. Bayern Munich, Schalke and Borussia Dortmund topped the list.

“We’ve never seized goods in these numbers before,” Wolfgang Schmitz, spokesman of the German customs office told the magazine.

The report said that an Asian organized gang was making the counterfeit products in sweatshops in China. The goods were then smuggled via Antwerp, Belgium, the Netherlands or Hamburg to Europe.

The fake club souvenirs were being peddled on the internet, car boot sales and around football stadiums, the magazine said.

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