Tensions are running high concerning the club logo of top Spanish soccer team Real Madrid. According to news outlet Heat Street, “Real Madrid won’t feature the Christian cross on clothing sold in parts of the Middle East under a regional deal because of cultural sensitivities.”
Marka—a retailing group in the United Arab Emirates—has received exclusive manufacturing and distribution rights to sell the team’s products in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, and is behind the decision regarding the logo.
Khaled al-Mheiri, Marka’s vice chairman, explained to the media that the retailer intentionally did indeed choose a version of Real Madrid’s logo that doesn’t feature a Christian cross in an attempt to stay sensitive to the cultural environment in the Middle East currently. The original logo, which featured a small Christian cross at the top of a crown, has been deemed too controversial, with al-Mheiri stating that, “We have to be sensitive towards other parts of the Gulf that are quite sensitive to products that hold the cross.”
Further illuminating the reasoning behind the decision is the fact that the six countries in the Middle East where Marka will sell its products all happen to be Muslim-majority.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: January 26, 2017