Newcastle United will stick with their decision to play in a green and white away kit next season, according to The Daily Mail.
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Leaked images of the kit emerged online early this week, showing a striking resemblance to the Saudi Arabian national kit. White with green trim, the club’s crest is green too.
The home kit, meanwhile, will remain in traditional black and white colours.
Given the controversial nature of the club’s takeover by PIF in October, any further links to the Gulf state were always likely to attract criticism.
Human rights group Amnesty International have released a statement against the decision, while Nigel Farage reacted on Twitter, saying Newcastle had sold their “soul”.
Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan has reportedly signed the kit off and it remains the plan to wear it next season.
You can see an image of the kit below.
Newcastle United are set to have a green & white away kit for next season.
The new kit bears a striking resemblance to the Saudi national-team jersey & will likely attract criticism. For the club, shirt sales in Saudi certain to increase revenue.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) May 13, 2022
What have Amnesty International said about the leaked kit?
Amnesty released a statement when images of the kit were emerging online.
“If it is true that Newcastle United is changing its away kit to match Saudi Arabia’s national colours, it exposes the power of the Saudi dollar and the kingdom’s determination to sportswash its brutal, blood-soaked human rights record,” said Felix Jakens, Amnesty International UK’s head of campaigns (via The Guardian).
“Despite all their assurances of a separation between the Saudi owners and the club this seems like clear evidence of the regime using Newcastle to portray a positive image.
“Everyone – from fans to champions – needs to resist being part of Saudi Arabia’s propaganda drive, be aware of what is going on there and speak out about the government’s abuses: the mass executions, [the journalist Jamal] Khashoggi’s murder and dire situation for LGBTI+ people. Sport must not be allowed to be used like this.”
Alex Hurst, host of the True Faith podcast, said (via The Daily Mail): “This was to be expected and I don’t have an issue with it. If they changed the home shirt, that would be different.
“But it would be hypocritical of me to welcome the money they spent on the team in January and then criticise when they want to make a change kit with links to their own country.”