Rethink over R1 600 Eng shirt

David Cameron (AP)
David Cameron (AP)

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron has given his support to calls for a "rethink" regarding the £90 (R1 600) cost of the new replica England football shirt.

The price of the shirt, identical to the one that will be worn by the England team at this June's Soccer World Cup finals in Brazil, proved controversial immediately following its launch earlier this week.

Sports minister Helen Grant had already gone on Twitter to say: "On £90 England #football shirts for fans, it's not right. Loyal supporters are the bedrock of our national game - pricing needs a rethink."

And Cameron's spokesperson, at a regular media briefing on Wednesday, said: "He does agree with Helen Grant. I'm sure all fans would welcome a rethink."

However, the spokesperson added the Government could not order a reduction in price.

"It is a matter for the manufacturers and the FA (England's governing Football Association), but does he (Cameron) agree with Helen Grant that £90 is a great deal of money for a replica shirt? Absolutely.

"Would a rethink by the manufacturer be welcomed by all fans? I'm sure that would be the case."

An adult 'stadium' England shirt is priced at £60, while shirts for children aged between eight and 15 cost £42 with mini-kits priced at £40.

The previous Nike kit had only been available since last May - for a mere seven England matches - after the company took over from rival manufacturer Umbro.

This week the FA issued a statement insisting it had never interfered with its kit suppliers when it came to the issue of pricing replica strips.

"The FA is a not-for-profit organisation that puts £100 million back into the game every year. It is through relationships with partners such as Nike that we are able to maintain that level of investment in football," the statement said.

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