Nike issue new statement after Man Utd World Cup star Mary Earps’ criticism over Lioness goalkeeper’s shirt

The Manchester United star was nearly an England hero after her penalty save in the final.
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Nike have issued a new statement after continued criticism over their decision not to sell Mary Earps’ England goalkeeper’s shirt. 

The Manchester United star hit out before the World Cup after it became clear any wannabe-keepers would not be able to buy her Lionesses jersey.

Earps would go onto star in the tournament - saving a penalty in England’s agonising 1-0 final defeat against Spain on Sunday before being given the Golden Glove award for the best ‘keeper at the tournament.

Following the game, Nike hinted that they could be ready to back down from their initial stance of refusing to sell a replica keeper’s jersey having sparked outrage with their decision ahead of the World Cup. But that doesn’t appear to the case. 

What did Mary Earps say? 

Ahead of the tournament the United keeper said: “I can’t sugar-coat this in any way, so I am not going to try - it is hugely disappointing and very hurtful. I’ve been desperately trying to find a solution with the Football Association and Nike. Unfortunately, it’s become very evident that it is not possible and there’s not going to be an acceptable solution for the young kids out there.”

Mary Earps has been hugely critical of Nike's decision not to sell her shirtMary Earps has been hugely critical of Nike's decision not to sell her shirt
Mary Earps has been hugely critical of Nike's decision not to sell her shirt

What have other people said?

Nike’s new statement also comes in the wake of fresh criticism from BBC broadcaster Gabby Logan, who hit out at the sportswear brand following Sunday’s final.

The host said of Earps: “She will have inspired so many little girls to go out and try and be a keeper in the back garden. Let’s hope that one day they can go and buy her shirts, Alex (speaking to Alex Scott), as well. That’s the next move.”

What have Nike now said?

A spokesperson for Nike has said: “Nike is committed to women’s football and we’re excited by the passion around this year’s tournament and the incredible win by the Lionesses to make it into the final.

“We are proudly offering the best of Nike innovation and services to our federation partners and hundreds of athletes. We hear and understand the desire for a retail version of a goalkeeper jersey and we are working towards solutions for future tournaments, in partnership with FIFA and the federations. The fact that there’s a conversation on this topic is testament to the continued passion and energy around the women’s game and we believe that’s encouraging.”

What has the FA said?

The FA chief Mark Bullingham also hinted earlier this week that the English football’s governing body had plans to find a resolution to the issue and said: “Mary is incredibly passionate about growing goalkeeping, as we are. We’ve got several schemes to get the next generation of goalkeepers coming through. We have got a plan for addressing that issue and it’s something we’ll get to after the tournament.”

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