Skip to main content

Thousands of fake football kits worth £240,000 seized ahead of World Cup

Counterfeit football kits stopped from entering the UK via East Midlands Airport

Football kits seized ahead of World Cup
Fake football kits, from teams such as Real Madrid, have been seized at East Midlands Airport

More than £240,000 of counterfeit football kits have been seized by our Trading Standards officers ahead of the World Cup.

Since April, the Trading Standards team, working as part of the National Trading Standards Safety at Ports and Borders Team, has stopped more than 12,000 fake kits from entering the UK via East Midlands Airport.

Officers work with Border Force at the Castle Donington-based airport to examine cargo and stop any unsafe goods being imported in order to protect unsuspecting fans and legitimate companies. Occasionally as part of these checks for unsafe items, fake goods are also found.


Unsuspecting football fans can fall victim to purchasing fake and sometimes unsafe goods during the World Cup.

“Trading Standards involvement at the border not only protects fans but also manufacturers and retailers from being undercut.


Steve Terry, Border Force Senior Officer, said: “Border Force’s recent work with Trading Standards ahead of the world cup is an excellent example of how we join forces to tackle criminality. Our officers work 24 hours a day at ports, airports and mail sorting centres to identify and seize fake goods.

"The international trade in counterfeits is linked to serious and organised crime and undercuts honest traders. Customers are also purchasing inferior and sometimes dangerous goods, which is why it is so important to crack down on this trade.”

Lord Toby Harris, chair of National Trading Standards, said: “People across the country are excited about the World Cup and fans should be able to expect that the World Cup merchandise they are buying is genuine. Legitimate businesses should also be able to operate without being undermined by criminal businesses flogging fakes. 

“I want to thank the team at East Midlands Airport for their work to ensure these items were prevented from entering the UK and to thank Leicestershire County Council for their partnership working, which is helping to protect consumers and legitimate businesses across the country.”

Trading Standards will continue to protect consumers from fake goods during the World Cup and urge anyone suspecting the sale of counterfeit merchandise to contact Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.

Top of page