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Nike face double backlash over new England strip

 
As featured on NewsNow: Football news eNewsletter
 
According to the Independent website, global sportswear brand Nike are facing a second kit backlash in the space of three days with England set to unveil their controversial new home strip in Tuesday’s friendly against the Netherlands.

Former England captain Gary Lineker was one of many who condemned the red and blue away kit worn for the first time against Germany in Berlin on Saturday by tweeting: "Can’t think of a worse England strip" during the 3-2 victory against the world champions.

But with Roy Hodgson’s team due to face the Dutch in a home kit which strays from the traditional colours of white top, blue shorts and white socks, American sportswear giant Nike are expected to bear the brunt of renewed criticism when the players take to the field at Wembley.

Saturday’s away kit prompted the ire of supporters due to the red shirt, red shorts, blue socks combination.

The new home strip has been unveiled as a white top, white shorts and red socks, with the shirt distinguished by light blue sleeves.

Despite the furore caused by the new designs, Nike’s creative director Martin Lotti has insisted that both home and away kits remain loyal to England’s traditional colours.

"For both kits we set out with the goal of bringing together the colours that are synonymous with English football: white, red and blue,” Lotti said. “Flashes of contrast are used to illustrate innovative details such as the cross-dyed knitted sleeves and the ventilation-enhancing stripe on the sides of the shirts and shorts.

"England have had great moments in red over the years – one in particular – and our design team have risen to the challenge of integrating references to England’s footballing history with a futuristic system of performance apparel in both the home and away kits."

The true test will come when fans are asked to start buying the new kits and if past experience is any guide sales will be as much about success on the pitch as the design.

JB

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