News / USA

US Authorities Seize Thousands of Fake Super Bowl Items

Seized counterfeit NFL merchandise is displayed before a news conference at the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII media center, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.
Seized counterfeit NFL merchandise is displayed before a news conference at the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII media center, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.
VOA News
U.S. law enforcement authorities say they have seized more than 200,000 counterfeit Super Bowl souvenir items and arrested 50 people in an effort to combat copyright infringement.

The seizures and arrests were announced Thursday at a news conference in New York City near the site of Sunday's Super Bowl, the championship game of the U.S. National Football League.

Federal and NFL officials at the news conference displayed fake jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other goods made to look like NFL merchandise.

The counterfeit items, if legitimate, would have been worth more than $21 million.

As part of their initiative, called "Operation Team Player," U.S. authorities say they also have taken custody of 163 websites identified to be selling counterfeit merchandise.

The eight-month operation has been targeting international shipments of counterfeit merchandise as it enters the U.S.

  • The numerals for the the game are seen at an opening ceremony for 'Super Bowl Boulevard' along Broadway as preparations continue for Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Jan. 29, 2014.
  • Seattle Seahawks fans Todd Gibson and his son Karsten pose outside the stadium before the start of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Feb. 2, 2014.
  • Fans Todd Barnes and Mitch Daniels photograph themselves on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square prior to Super Bowl XLVIII, Jan. 31, 2014, in New York City.
  • A police officer and his dog walk past football fans at the Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, N.J., Feb. 2, 2014.
  • Tim Froemke of Ritzville Wash., waits in a security line at the Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, N.J., Feb. 2, 2014.
  • Football fans wait in a security line at the Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, N.J., Feb. 2, 2014.
  • Seattle Seahawks fans pose for a picture in Times Square while they visit the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Feb. 1, 2014.
  • Fans hold up posters of (R-L) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch, and cornerback Richard Sherman while they gather en masse at Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Feb. 1, 2014.
  • Seattle Seahawks fans sign a "12th Man" flag on "Super Bowl Boulevard" at Times Square, as part of the Super Bowl lead up, in New York Feb. 1, 2014.
  • Ron Hebron, of Portland, Oregon, wears his beard with Seattle Seahawks colors on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square in New York, Jan. 31, 2014.
  • Blitz, right, the Seattle Seahawks mascot, is sits with Miles, left, the Denver Broncos mascot, Jan. 31, 2014, on top of a Super Bowl sign during a live TV broadcast in Times Square in New York.
  • A man dressed as the Statue of Liberty poses for photos with football fans along Super Bowl Boulevard. Jan. 31, 2014, in New York. T
  • A fan of the Seattle Seahawks jokes with a fan of the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • A billboard is displayed along Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square in New York, Jan. 31, 2014.
  • Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Denver Broncos head coach John Fox speak at a news conference, Jan. 31, 2014, in New York.
  • A fan visits the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • A police officer walks next to a fan at the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Denver Broncos strong safety David Bruton runs an interception drill during an indoor practice session for the Super Bowl at the New York Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning readies to throw a pass during a practice session for the Super Bowl at the New York Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Soprano Renee Fleming speaks at the Super Bowl half time press conference in New York, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Bruno Mars who will headline the half-time show at Super Bowl XLVIII during a press conference, Jan. 30, 2014, in New York.
  • The New York skyline and the Empire State Building are seen in the distance as roman numerals for NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game are displayed in Hoboken, New Jersey, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Seattle Seahawks fans walk to the stadium before the start of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Feb. 2, 2014.

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