A shirt released by the Spanish national team in preparation for next year’s World Cup has become the center of a major controversy.
The shirt is part of a fairly standard kit released by the team to cater to their fans. However, critics state that the shirt has some major flaws.
According to reports, people believe that the shirt’s colors bear more resemblance to the flag of Spain’s Second Republic, than to the current flag. The Second Republic began in 1931, after the King of Spain was overthrown. The Second Republic’s rule continued till 1939.
Some say that the colors may trigger painful memories for citizens whose family suffered during the civil war that raged between the years of 1936 and 1939.
The conflict was finally resolved after the nationalists, led by Francisco Franco captured the country. Francisco Franco then became the dictator of Spain, and remained in power until his death in 1975.
The problem stems from the fact that the shirt has not limited itself to the red and yellow hues of the Spanish flag. Instead, it has introduced a bit of blue into the mix. The shirt’s makers claim that the blue is meant to pay homage to the 1994 World Cup kit.
However, the color on the shirt is closer to purple than blue. Thus the purple hued flag resembles the republican flag, one that is still used by anti-monarchists. As a result, the resulting emotion is closer to anger than nostalgia.
Many have expressed blatant anger at the shirt makers’ laxity. Javier Andrés Roldán, a law graduate from Cantabria stated that the shirt was “an insult”. He added that he hoped that the football association barred the team from playing while they sported those colors.
More anger flowed in with many Spanish fans wishing the team would be eliminated in the first round of the World Cup.
However, others have defended the shirt’s seemingly benign colors. Sid Lowe, a Spanish football expert stated that the idea that the shirt was a “deliberate political statement” is “ridiculous”.
The Spanish Football Federation, and the shirt’s core designer, Adidas deny that the kit holds any political connections.