A FOOTBALL mad shopkeeper has joked that “nothing Italian” will be sold in his store ahead of England’s crunch clash with Italy on Sunday.
Avtar Singh, who owns a Nisa store in Stoke on Trent, even went to the lengths of taping off certain food sections to show his support for the Three Lions.
Follow ALL of the latest news and updates from Euro 2020 with our live blog
The pictures, posted on Facebook, showed shelves of items such as pasta, garlic bread and bolognese sauce closed off with yellow and black tape.
The humorous image was aimed at the Italian national team who face England in the Euro 2020 final tomorrow night.
The post read: “We at Nisa take football very seriously!!!
“Therefore pasta, pasta sauces, Dolmio, Ragu and pizza are all out of bounds and strictly not for sale. Nothing Italian will be sold.
“Goooo England! It’s coming home!”
And within 24 hours the post was flooded with thousands of likes and comments and shared more than 12,500 times.
The shopkeeper had already shown his support throughout the tournament with his store emblazoned with St Georges Flags.
But Avtar told BlackCountryLive that he wanted to take things one step further before tomorrow’s big game – putting a smile on the faces of his loyal customers.
He said: “It was a comedy thing for the local estate. I’ve run this shop for the last 10 years and have become well integrated into the community.
“Football has become a joint enjoyment for us all. We got together to decorate the shop and thought it would be a laugh to tape off the Italian-based foods as a joke and say they are no longer for sale.
“I did it for a laugh and within 24 hours it hit 12,500 shares and is still growing.
“Around 99.9% of my customers have found the idea humorous and theatrical. In no shape or form is it intended to be harsh or contradictory. I’m British, love football and support the England team. It has brought the community together.
“We haven’t stopped selling pasta and garlic bread it’s just for comedy purposes.
He added: “A big thank you to the Blurton Community for being supportive, crazy football fans and having a sense of humour towards my post … COME ON ENGLAND!”
England vs Italy will kick off at 8pm on Sunday night.