Nike has no plans to change new England kit crosson March 22, 2024 at 9:16 am

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Fans, pundits and politicians criticise the shirt featuring a purple, red and blue St George’s cross.

The England shirt with new flag design on the collarImage source, Nike

Nike is not planning to recall or change a new England football shirt featuring different colours in the cross of St George.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is among prominent voices calling on the company to change the design.

Nike says the shirt, launched ahead of Euro 2024, includes a “playful update” to the cross “to unite and inspire”.

But it has been criticised for featuring navy, light blue and purple in a flag on the back of the collar.

The US firm said the colours were inspired by the training kit worn by England’s 1966 World Cup winners.

Some football pundits, politicians and fans have criticised the shirt’s design and price after it launched earlier this week.

Going on sale on 21 March, the “authentic” version is priced at £124.99 for adults and £119.99 for children, while a “stadium” version costs £84.99 and £64.99 for children.

H.M. Queen meets England captain Bobby Moore before kick off at FIFA World Cup England 1966 - Opening Match - Group One - England v Uruguay - Wembley Stadium

Image source, PA Media

Photo dated 15-06-1966 Bobby Charlton (left) with England team mates

Image source, PA Media

Sir Keir told The Sun that the “flag is used by everybody, it is a unifier, it doesn’t need to be changed”.

He said: “We just need to be proud of it. So I think they should just reconsider this and change it back.

“I’m not even sure they properly can explain why they thought they needed to change in the first place.”

The Labour leader also called on Nike to reduce the price of the shirts.

This is not the first time Nike has faced criticism over its sale of England shirts in recent months. During the Women’s World Cup last summer, the sportwear brand was forced to U-turn on its decision not to sell Mary Earps replica goalkeeper shirts, after public outcry.

At the time, the Lionesses star said she found it “hurtful” that fans could only buy outfield players’ shirts – and not hers.

Weighing in on the latest flag debate, pundit Chris Sutton told Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off: “It’s not the cross of St George, is it? I do understand that there will be people out there who will say it’s not representative when it’s on an England jersey and shouldn’t represent an England jersey. I do understand that.”

“I’m not going to get angry about that, but for heaven’s sake, could the FA have not just, you know… explained?”

The FA revealed the new kits to be worn by England men’s, women’s and para teams in 2024 earlier in the week.

England’s men’s team are set to wear the new kits – with a purple away shirt launched at the same time as the white home one – for the first time during matches with Brazil and Belgium at Wembley on 23 and 26 March.

In a post on X on 18 March, Nike described the redesigned flag as “a playful update to the cross of St George” which “appears on the collar to unite and inspire”.

A Nike spokesperson told media outlets: “The England 2024 Home kit disrupts history with a modern take on a classic.

“The trim on the cuffs takes its cues from the training gear worn by England’s 1966 heroes, with a gradient of blues and reds topped with purple. The same colours also feature an interpretation of the flag of St George on the back of the collar.”

Shadow Attorney-General Emily Thornberry described the new design as “a bit weird”.

“Imagine putting a bit of purple on the Irish tricolour”, she told BBC Breakfast. “Why are we messing around with it? I don’t understand.”

Former UKIP leader and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, speaking on GB News, said it was “an absolute joke” and that the new emblem “bears no relationship to the St George’s Cross whatsoever”.

The official England Store website describes the most expensive shirt as featuring an “authentic design with lightweight, quick-drying technology to help keep you cool and comfortable on the field”.

The £84.99 stadium shirt “pairs replica design details with sweat-wicking technology to give you a game-ready look inspired by your favourite team”.

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