FA Hit With £53,000 Fine By FIFA Over Players' Socks
Socks worn by English players "landed" the FA a £53,211 ($70,285) fine from FIFA, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. The FA was punished after “several members” of Gareth Southgate’s squad "defied orders to stop wearing the British-made TRUsox at the tournament." Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Eric Dier were pictured in the product during England’s run to the semifinals. Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale also use TRUsox, which "feature non-slip pads and are designed to be worn on top of regular football socks to stop players’ feet moving around in their boots." FIFA’s "crackdown on the socks" is being seen against the background of its commercial deal with adidas. The FA is "likely to appeal" the sanction, which is "far more severe" than those FIFA imposed for racist and homophobic abuse during the World Cup (TELEGRAPH, 7/11). The BBC reported FIFA said that several England players "continued to display unauthorised commercial branding on playing equipment items before and during the quarter-final match between Sweden and England." The Swedish FA was also "punished with the same fine" for a similar sock offense earlier in the tournament (BBC, 7/11).
NO CELEBRATION YET: In London, Martyn Ziegler reported a celebration of England’s achievement in reaching the World Cup semifinal "may be staged later this summer after it was decided not to hold an event next week." There is "little appetite" among the England players or the FA’s leaders to have a celebration immediately after returning from Russia, with most of the squad "keen to go straight off on holiday after a tiring campaign and then to prepare for the next season with their clubs." Plans were drawn up for a static “welcome home” event at Trafalgar Square if England had reached the final and there is "still a belief in government circles that the squad’s achievement deserves to be marked in some way" (LONDON TIMES, 7/12).
ENGLISH CHANTS: The BBC's Richard Conway reported FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the FA over chants of a "possible discriminatory" nature by England fans during the semifinal defeat to Croatia. The precise details of the allegations are unknown at this stage (BBC, 7/12).