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Nike faces backlash for England’s controversial Euro 2024 kit

By Rachel Douglass


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Nike's Euro 2024 kit for England. Credits: England Football.

Sportswear giant Nike has responded to backlash over its controversial England kit for the upcoming Euro 2024, which had garnered wide-spread criticism from football players and politicians alike.

The kit in question features an alteration on England’s St George’s flag, which has been changed from the standard red and white colourway to appear as a red, purple, black and purple cross.

Responding to the controversial change, British prime minister Rishi Sunak told The Sun: “When it comes to our national flags, we shouldn’t mess with them because they’re a source of pride, identity, who we are and they’re perfect as they are.”

Sunak’s political rival, leader of the UK’s Labour Party and avid football fan Keir Starmer, agreed, adding that the flag is “a unifier” and “doesn’t need to be changed” while calling on Nike to “reconsider this and change it back”.

Similar demands were also heard from football players themselves. Former goalkeeper Peter Shilton said the “woke” change was “wrong on every level”.

Kit designed to honour 1966 World Cup win

Responding to the criticism, the Football Association (FA) backed the flag change, noting that the kit exhibited a “number of design elements which were meant as a tribute to the 1966 World Cup-winning team”, including a colour trim on the cuffs inspired by training gear worn that year.

The organisation further stated that it had not been the first time that “different coloured St. George’s Cross-inspired designs have been used on England shirts”.

Nike reiterated this point, adding that the colours were indeed changed to honour England’s prior win. The sportswear giant continued: “We have been a proud partner of the FA since 2012 and understand the significance and importance of the St. George’s Cross and it was never our intention to offend, given what it means to England fans.”

Both Nike and the FA have said there are no plans to adjust the kit ahead of Euro 2024.