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FootballNew England kit: FA defends St George's cross design colours before Brazil...

New England kit: FA defends St George’s cross design colours before Brazil friendly

The FA has defended the design of the St George’s cross on the back of England’s new kit, responding after fans and politicians including prime minister Rishi Sunak questioned the decision to add blue, navy and purple to its traditional red and white colours.

In a statement addressing the controversy, the governing body said it understood what the national flag “means to our fans” and reiterated that the colours, which feature on an unusual-looking cross on the back of the collar, are inspired by and a tribute to the training wear used by the England squad who won the Fifa 1966 World Cup.

Sunak said he preferred the original colours and believed “we shouldn’t mess” with national flags “because they’re a source of pride, identity, who we are, and they’re perfect as they are.”

“It is not the first time that different coloured St George’s cross-inspired designs have been used on England shirts,” the FA said.

“We are very proud of the red and white St George’s cross – the England flag. We understand what it means to our fans and how it unites and inspires.”

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The kit also features the revised colours on its cuff and will be worn by England men for the first time in a friendly against Brazil at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Captain Harry Kane was among the players to pose in the kit when it was launched by the FA and manufacturers Nike on Monday.

England: New kit causes controversy

Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton are among those to have suggested the kit should be reconsidered, but BBC News reported that there were no plans on Friday to change or recall the shirt.

High-profile England players including Kane, Jack Grealish and women’s forward Beth Mead have endorsed the design of the new shirts in several videos released by the FA before the debate broke out.

Although none of the squad members from any team discussed the flag, the kits are repeatedly praised for their colours and “retro” feel in the footage.

Starmer also called on Nike to reduce the price of the products, which cost £124.99 for adults and £119.99 for children for an ‘authentic’ version or £84.99 and £64.99 for a ‘stadium’ version.

The FA said the red and white cross would be “displayed prominently” at Wembley, emphasising that “it always is”.

The kits have been launched in time for England’s Uefa Euro 2024 campaign in Germany, which begins against Serbia on June 16.

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