London, Apr 18: Chinese customs officers have reportedly seized more than 1,000 fake FIFA World Cup statuettes during a raid on a warehouse.
The 1,020 statuettes, which are not authorised replicas, were found in the Chinese city of Yiwu in Zhejiang province, waiting to be exported to Libya.
According to the Daily Express, the Chinese customs authorities launched a campaign earlier this month to crack down on football-related copyright theft ahead of June’s World Cup tournament in Brazil, which is expected to rake in huge sums in merchandising.
The report mentioned that the fake Cups are a shiny gold colour just like the official replicas, although it added that England’s name does not appear on the fake trophies as it is engraved on the old Jules Rimet World Cup after the victory at Wembley in 1966.
The report further said that the Jules Rimet trophy was replaced in 1974 with the FIFA cup when Brazil won the old trophy outright in 1970 – by lifting it for the third time.
This was not the first raid of its kind relating to FIFA World Cup fakes with officials seizing 1,008 fake trophies and 1,648 fake Brazil World Cup jerseys from the city of Xiamen.
China is also manufacturing a million World Cup armadillo mascots – but those are official, the report added. (ANI)