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Laura Woods slams Nike's "unacceptable" England kit decision

Laura Woods slams Nike's "unacceptable" England kit decision

Laura Woods has slammed Nike's decision with the England goalkeeper kit after Mary Earps fumed in a press conference.

Laura Woods has slammed Nike for their "mad" England Women's World Cup kit decision after goalkeeper Mary Earps pulled no punches in a press conference.

Nike are the official kit supplier for both England's men and women's sides and also produce the strips for many other of the leading nations in the tournament, including Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The Lionesses, who are the remaining European champions, had home and away bespoke original kits created for the showpiece and they are available in all sizes at all good sports retailers.

However, in a surprise and controversial move, the goalkeeper shirt worn by Manchester United shotstopper Earps is not on sale whatsoever.

Earps was integral to England's European championship success on home soil a year ago and was named the Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper of the year earlier this year.

And yet she was "hurt" to learn that fans cannot buy her shirt, with some reports claiming the jersey is not part of Nike's commercial strategy.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The 30-year old had to deliver the news to Millie Bright when she said she wanted to get it for her niece, with some fans opting to buy an outfield shirt by 'Earps 1' on the back.

"For my own family and friends and loved ones not to be able to buy my shirt, I know that sounds like 'oh Mary, what a horrible problem', but on a personal level that is really hard," Earps said in a press conference.

"I have been trying to go through the correct channels as much as possible, which is why I have not spoken on it publicly.

"On a personal level, it is hugely hurtful. There has been an incredible rise in goalkeeping participation.

"I can't really sugar-coat this in any way, so I am not going to try. It is hugely disappointing and very hurtful.

"I think that is a huge problem, and I think it is a scary message that is being sent to goalkeepers worldwide that you are not important. For it to happen a second tournament running, it is really hard to put it into words. It is a really damaging message."

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Earps' United goalkeeper shirts sold out last season and Woods, ITV's lead presenter for coverage of the Women's World Cup, was perplexed by the call.

Taking to Twitter, Woods wrote: "Mary’s one of my favourite England players. I get it’s not just Nike that do this, but how mad a decision not to produce and sell England GK shirts when that goalkeeper is Mary Earps.

"And while she’s the reigning FIFA Best GK. And a reigning European Champion. Find that v weird."

England kick off their campaign against Haiti on Saturday, before they take on Denmark and China.

SPORTbible has contacted Nike for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: England, Laura Woods, Womens Football, Womens World Cup