A company based in Dorset is facing a ‘major loss’ after purchasing 18,000 T-shirts sporting the message: “England, World Cup winners 2022”.
England were knocked out of the Qatar competition on Saturday, suffering a 2-1 defeat by France in the quarter-finals – after Karl Baxter had bought thousands of T-shirts in anticipation of Gareth Southgate’s team lifting the trophy.
Mr Baxter, managing director of Poole-based Wholesale Clearance UK, had intended to sell the shirts for £29.99 each, but he has now put them on sale at £9.99 per item. The shirts carry the message: “England, World Cup winners 2022. [Football is] finally home.”
“I’m absolutely gutted that England has been knocked out of the World Cup,” Mr Baxter said in a press release.
“I have been really impressed with England’s performance in Qatar and was sure they would win this year’s tournament. When approached by a supplier to sell the shirts, I simply couldn’t say, ‘No.’
“But now I’ve been left with 18,000 shirts that say they’ve won, and I’m not sure what to do.
“I’d like to appeal to England fans to purchase one of the shirts, to keep it as a piece of history and a reminder of how well our team played throughout the tournament.
“While they haven’t won, they are still winners in my eyes.”
England fell behind in their clash with France after a long-range strike from Aurelien Tchouameni, before Harry Kane equalised from the penalty spot.
Defending champions France restored their lead through an Olivier Giroud header, however, before Kane took a second penalty and sent it over the crossbar.
Referee Wilton Sampaio came under intense criticism for his performance, yet the Brazilian has been retained by Fifa for the remainder of the World Cup.
Argentina play Croatia in the first semi-final, on Tuesday, before France take on Morocco on Wednesday.
The third-place play-off match is scheduled for Saturday, before the final takes place on Sunday.
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