Price fears were raised to Irish FA ahead of kit launch
Concerned supporters had brought the issue of pricing to the Irish FA BEFORE the official launch of the new Northern Ireland away kit on Monday.
As the Belfast Telegraph revealed yesterday, fans have hit out at the cost of the new white and green adidas strip.
The adult shirt alone costs £52, while the full package, with shorts and socks, coming in at £88. For a child the shirt costs £39 and the full kit is £67.
Comments from supporters on social network sites ranged from "£52 absolutely ludicrous" to "Seems like a bit of a rip off."
Now it has emerged that the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs (AONISC) raised concerns surrounding the cost of merchandise, at a meeting with the IFA, after the new home kit was released last November.
It appears, however, that kit manufacturers adidas and JD Sports, the IFA's retail partners, are responsible for setting the price of the kits and training wear, with the association unable to do anything about it.
A statement from the AONISC read: "Following the release of the Northern Ireland home shirt late last year and in the period since, other fans have raised a number of issues with us.
"As a result, the AONISC met with the IFA to raise issues relating to cost, quality and availability.
"It is our understanding that pricing and availability are solely the responsibility of the manufacturer and the distributor.
"We believe it is important that Northern Ireland merchandise is widely available and affordable."
There are also concerns about the availability of Northern Ireland merchandise in private sports retailers where there is no branch of JD Sports.
The statement continued: "Whilst we appreciate that there are issues around commercial contracts, we feel that it would be beneficial to all if the products were more affordable and more widely available throughout Northern Ireland."
e THE Irish FA has confirmed the kick-off time for next month's international friendly between Cyprus and Northern Ireland.
The match in Nicosia on Wednesday March 5 will start at 8pm Cypriot time, which is 6pm in Northern Ireland.