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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 February 2006, 16:32 GMT
Shops beat England shirt launch
Sven-Goran Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson will attend Monday's kit launch
Supermarket chain Asda is putting the new England football shirt on sale - days before its official launch.

Asda said kit-maker Umbro refused to supply it with the shirt, so it bought 5,000 away shirts from surplus stock in Europe - known as the "grey market".

The retailer Sport Soccer said it would also start to sell the away shirts, available in other shops from Tuesday.

Umbro and the Football Association, due to launch the shirt on Monday, have not commented on the shops' decision.

UK retailers use the grey market as a legal means of stocking up on many types of goods.

World Cup

The FA is due to launch the shirts to the media on Monday, when Asda will put a further 22,000 in its stores.

Fans risk missing out on the chance to show their support for our national team
Paul Crier, Asda

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who will leave the job after this summer's World Cup in Germany, will attend the Manchester launch.

Asda sportswear general manager Paul Crier said Umbro's refusal to supply shirts to its stores meant "fans risk missing out on the chance to show their support for our national team".

"However, cash-strapped fans can rest assured that if necessary we'll go to the grey market to make sure that doesn't happen."

Mike Ashley, of Sport Soccer, said he was trying to give his customers "best value", adding that "we want to get the whole country behind England".

The shirts will be available from other outlets from Tuesday and can already be ordered in advance from the FA's online store.

Asda cuts could spark price war
22 Jan 06 |  Business
Asda sells cheap United shirts
01 Aug 03 |  Manchester

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