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Fans divided over controversial kit as England lose in friendly

Hundreds of England football fans wore the team’s new kit as they attended the team’s game against Brazil last night – as opinions remained divided over the controversial kit.

A fan who attended the friendly at London’s Wembley Stadium said the Football Association (FA) should “burn” the tops, while another young fan shrugged off the argument and said they still showed the “same England – Flag”.

This comes after sportswear giant Nike redesigned the St. George’s Cross on the back of the jersey’s collar, replacing some of the red with shades of purple and blue.

The company said this was not the case “Intent to offend” after some expressed outrage at the design.

Sky Sports News was told the FA had no intention of retiring the shirt, while England manager Gareth Southgate dismissed the row by saying it was not “high on my priority list”.

The controversy did not appear to deter hundreds of fans, who were seen entering Wembley Stadium before kick-off on Saturday wearing the newly released shirts – with Saka and Kane the most popular names on the back.

Outside the stadium, eight-year-old Sully said he thought the new blue and purple cross on the jersey “looked good.”

After traveling hundreds of miles from North Tyneside with his family to attend the game, he said of the controversy: “I don’t actually care because it’s still the same English flag.”

England fans on Wembley Way before an international friendly match at Wembley Stadium in London.  Picture date: Saturday March 23, 2024.
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Fans arrive at Wembley Stadium. Image: PA

However, England fan Judith Gibbons, from Huddersfield, said the color change “should not have been done” and added: “I don’t think tradition should be messed with.”

Ms Gibbons said the shirts should be “taken back” by the FA, adding: “I think they should burn them.”

A general view of the St George's Cross on the back of England's Phil Foden's socks during an international friendly match at Wembley Stadium, London.  Picture date: Saturday March 23, 2024. PA Photo.  See PA story SOCCER England.  Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire...RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only.  Commercial use only with the prior written consent of the FA.  No editing except cropping.
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The controversial color change can also be found on the team’s socks. Image: PA

England lost the game to a goal from Brazilian teenager Endrick late in the second half.

Fans expressed their frustration with X after the defeat – and some took the opportunity to criticize the shirt.

A social media commentator said they were “really pleased” that England suffered a defeat because the players wore a “hideous jersey”. The man added that he would boycott Nike as a result.

However, others mocked those who believed the shirt had an impact on the result, with comedian Alistair Green writing: “It’s pretty obvious why England are playing badly… Maguire clearly missed that header because he was over an end who thought about fossil fuels.”

“Chilwell fiddles with the ball because he dreams of Marxism. I will never forgive Nike for that.”

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After Nike unveiled the jersey, Prime Minister said Rishi Sunak while the Labor leader warned the company not to mess with the flag Sir Keir Starmer asked the company to do so “rethink” the design..

Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General Emily Thornberry told Sky News: “It’s all very strange. The English flag is a symbol of unity… you wouldn’t expect Nike to take one look at the Welsh flag and decide to turn the dragon into a cuddly cat.”

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“Don’t mess with national flags”

The shirt’s pricing was also criticized after it hit the market earlier this week.

An “authentic” version costs £124.99 for adults and £119.99 for children, while a “stadium” version costs £84.99 and £64.99 for children.

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