Next time you purchase a t-shirt with a nice-looking graphic on it or a bold-coloured scarf, be aware of the fact the item you’re about to buy could get you into hot water overseas.
In the US and the UK the locals love their football and their soccer. So much so that if you’re wearing a rival team’s jersey or even the rival team’s colours on your scarf unknowingly, you may be hassled or heckled on the street.
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Even if you aren’t openly harassed, you may find you have a longer wait at a restaurant or receive glaring looks on public transport.
According to the Manchester Evening News, in 2016 Manchester United issued a letter to all of its club members warning them to dress conservatively for an upcoming match in Holland, after violent clashes between the club and its rivals at previous matches.
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A similar warning was issued in March this year, telling fans to keep a low profile if they’re heading to Russia to watch the match in Rostov, fearing a risk to fans’ safety.
Glasgow Live also reported an incident in September 2016 where three young girls were heckled and spat on while wearing Celtics jerseys on a train.
A truck driver in the US also shared his advice on the subject on Reddit, stating: “Don’t wear sports gear in places where the teams rivals are. For instance, wearing 49ers gear in Oakland can get you in some serious trouble.”
You may be a big fan of one of the teams in the US or the UK, and if you are, identify where you will be considered a friend or foe before you slip on your sports gear.
The best thing to do is not to wear sports gear in places where rival teams are and know the big teams where you’re going. For example, if you’re heading to Leeds in England, don’t wear a red and white striped scarf – the colours of key soccer rival Manchester United.
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Have you been guilty of doing this? Tell us your story in the comments below.