shirt

Kontol

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Does "shirt" mean player in football?

39 mins
Genk 1-0 West Ham
Michail Antonio, who recently got called up to the Jamaica national team for their World Cup qualifiers, has had scraps to feed off so far. He tries to go it alone but a sea of blue shirts crowd around him and the shot is snuffed out.

Another example:
Leeds 0-0 Leicester (21 mins)
Jack Harrison whips in a corner that's recycled and moved about by white shirts before Harrison can attempt another cross. Two Leeds shirts converge on the high ball but neither can get a shot away, and Leicester gratefully clear.

 

emsr2d2

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Does it mean "player"? If it helps you to look at it like that, yes. "Blue shirts" is used in place of "players from the opposing team, whose kit includes blue shirts".

I really think you could have worked this out for yourself! The only alternative reading is that a lot of actual blue shirts (just shirts, not people wearing shirts) surrounded him. How likely is that?
 

jutfrank

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This is another example of the common use of metonymy in football. The word shirt substitutes for 'player'. As emsr2d2 says, a literal reading of shirt would be more than ridiculous.
 
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