The group phase of the 2006 Shirt Cup Presented By F.C. Camena ™, the world’s leading interactive sartorial soccer tournament, is complete. 16 teams go through to the knockout rounds, 16 teams go home. In Group E, favorites USA and Italy cruised through at the expense of Ghana and the Czech Republic. In Group F, favorites Brazil conceded the group to Croatia, but both will go through to the next round. Togo was the runaway winner in Group G, with France narrowly sneaking through on goal differential. And in Group H, Ukraine stood tall while Saudi Arabia pipped Tunisia and Spain for the second spot.
Some quick stats on the group phase: in terms of manufacturers, Puma was the runaway winner, sending 7 of their 12 entries through; Nike sent 4 of 8 and adidas 3 of 6. Among the various confederations, South America can boast 3 of 4 entries into the next round; Africa had 3 of 5 and Europe 8 of 14. Asia, CONCACAF and Oceania only managed to send 2 of their collective 9 shirts to the knockout phase. Finally, if you’re just looking at the colors, it turns out that people really like…white, with 5 of 8 white entries making it through. Straight red (not counting burgundy Portugal) was 0 for 6, though red plus another color (white or some black and gold) was 3 for 3. Blue (not counting Argentina) and Yellow hit .500 (2 of 4 and 3 of 6, respectively), and there was no love for the lone green entry (Mexico).
Looking forward, the Round of 16 will take place in two parts, over four days: Part 1 will be June 1-2, and Part 2 will be June 3-4. The quarterfinals will run on June 5-6, the semis on June 7-8, and the final from June 9-11. As always, we invite your votes, your comments, and your feedback.
May the best shirt win.