More than £240,000 counterfeit football kits have been seized at East Midlands Airport following a two-month long crackdown as the World Cup gets under way.

Since April, Leicestershire County Council’s trading standards team, working as part of the National Trading Standards Safety at Ports and Borders Team, seized more than 12,000 fake kits during 27 separate incidents, stopping them from entering the UK via the Castle Donington airport.

Officers work with Border Force at the 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, said a spokesman.

Council leader Nick Rushton said: “Unsuspecting football fans can fall victim to purchasing fake and sometimes unsafe goods during the World Cup.

More than 12,000 fake kits were stopped from entering the UK



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

Steve Terry, senior officer at Border Force, 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.”

England shirts were among the kits seized at East Midlands Airport England


Lord Toby Harris, chairman 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 040506.