Premier League: Just What Is The Halftime Shirt-Swapping All About?

By Stowe Gregory
Image via @LFC

During Chelsea‘s 2-1 win over Liverpool, we saw some strange events. Just what is this halftime shirt-swapping in the Premier League all about?

At halftime on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, Samuel Eto’o and Mamadou Sakho swapped shirts, while Philipe Coutinho and Oscar did as well. It’s not at all unusual to see this at the end of the game; that’s something we almost appreciate as a custom of modern football. But why do it at halftime?

Last season, a former Arsenal left-back swapped shirts at halftime with former teammate Robin Van Persie, who was playing for Manchester United. That led to a fury from Arsenal supporters, whilst manager Arsene Wenger spoke out about how it was extremely frowned upon and unacceptable.

I struggle to really see the logic in it. Some are claiming it is a non-British tradition, which explains the confusion from EPL fans. But still, what is the point? They swap at the end of the match anyway, so why do this at halftime? The game has not finished. There is still a battle to be fought after the 15-minute break.

At the very least, they could swap their shirts out of the view of their passionate fans who clearly don’t quite understand how you could want to show such respect to an opponent during a match. You can imagine that this tradition at clubs with strong leaders like the top teams would result in these players being given quite a hammering.

If anyone has an answer to just why these players see it best to swap shirts at halftime rather than at the end of the 90, please let us all know.

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