Real Madrid Remove Cross From Logo For Middle East Fans

The crest of Real Madrid will not feature the traditional Christian cross on clothing sold in some Middle East countries under a regional deal with a retailing group in the United Arab Emirates.

Real Madrid Alters Logo for Middle East Region

The cross will be removed on clothing in six countries, while the jerseys are not affected.

Marka, a distribution group from the United Arab Emirates, have obtained the exclusive rights to "manufacture, distribute and sell Real Madrid products" in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. Real Madrid has two versions of the crest for the Middle East market due to cultural sensitivities, and Marka would use the one without the Christian cross, Marka Vice Chairman Khaled al-Mheiri told Reuters.

"We have to be sensitive towards other parts of the Gulf that are quite sensitive to products that hold the cross," said al-Mheiri, who owns a Real Madrid cafe in Dubai.

However, while the redesigned crest is almost identical, it is nevertheless an important change from the original logo that features a very small Christian cross at the top of a crown.

It is important to note that the deal does not include replica kits, which are sold in Dubai featuring the cross. The deal allows Marka to sell clothing such as t-shirts, polo shirts and swim wear featuring the Real Madrid name and crest without the crown.

It is not the first time the symbol has been altered. In 2014, Real Madrid eliminated the Christian cross in its logo when it was used by its sponsor the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Real Madrid did not immediately respond for a comment.
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