Euro 2024: England players missing from official sticker album due to bizarre row - but Wales included


A bizarre row has left football fans unable to collect stickers for all the players at Euro 2024 - and the official album even lists Wales, despite the nation not qualifying.

UEFA sold the sticker rights for the tournament to the US company Topps, ending a long-standing relationship with the Italian brand Panini, which had held the rights since 1970.

However, Panini still retains the rights for the national teams of England, Italy, Germany, and France, as well as certain individual players.

This has resulted in Panini-contracted players like Phil Foden and John Stones not appearing in the official Topps version of the sticker book, but instead being featured in England's own sticker collection.

Consequently, Topps has had to fill the gaps by including lesser-known names such as Leicester City’s Luke Thomas, a left-back without any senior caps or call-ups.

A Topps spokesman told the BBC: “This is due to the tournament's former sticker partner having blocked certain parts of the collection, to the detriment of the fans.

"Unlike the former sticker partner, we are committed to the fans and believe the offering of stickers and cards - and range of current and former players - will get everyone excited for the tournament."

The row has also led to the Topps version not including the official national kits - something that the Panini version is on top of.

Additionally, fans can buy stickers for Wales - despite the team not qualifying for the Euros, something Rishi Sunak found out the hard way on the campaign trail.

A Panini spokesperson said: “Panini has been synonymous with football for over 60 years, and we remain committed to producing the best possible product for our collectors.

“We hope our collectors will enjoy finding players for England alongside favourites from France, Germany, Italy and Spain, all in 100 per cent official kits, in this compact and completable collection."

With the official Topps starter sticker collection bundle fetching £17.49 and Panini’s England bundle, featuring Germany, Italy, France and Spain, costing £14.99 - fans are facing further proof of money ruling the game.

But Topps v Panini is perhaps one of the more unwanted matchups of the summer and a rivalry supporters will be hoping can be put to one side.

“Football bosses and sticker companies need to put supporters first and come up with a solution to ensure there is no repeat of this embarrassing episode,” said Lisa Webb of Which? 

“It’s really disappointing that Uefa and sticker companies have left football fans in the lurch ahead of the Euros.”