England fans are demanding Nike start selling a replica goalkeeper shirt after Mary Earps’ Women’s World Cup final heroics saw her scoop the competition’s Golden Glove award.
Earps saved Jennifer Hermoso’s spotkick and was a standout performer for the Lionesses, as they lost 1-0 to Spain at at the 75,000-plus seat Stadium Australia in Sydney on Sunday.The Manchester United star previously expressed her dismay over the “very hurtful” decision not to put her replica shirt on sale ahead of the World Cup.After Sunday’s final pressure increased on Nike to release a “Mary Earps’ shirt” and the company said it is “working towards solutions for future tournaments”.
“Let me get a Mary Earps’ shirt, she’s literally a hero,” a fan in Wembley, north-west London, told talkSport after the game.
Her friend added: “Come on Nike, step up.”
Earps was named the world’s best goalkeeper in women’s football by Fifa in February and is a Euro 2022 champion.
Speaking last month about the shirt snub she said: “I can’t really sugar-coat this in any way, so I am not going to try.
“It is hugely disappointing and very hurtful.
“It is very, on a personal level, it is obviously hugely hurtful considering the last 12 months especially, and also I think there has been an incredible rise in goalkeeping participation over that year.
“I go into grassroots clubs and I am asked to bribe people to go into goal, and I have been to more clubs recently and that’s not been the case.
“A lot of that has come off the back of the Euros, but also some of my success this year.
“For my own family and friends and loved ones not to be able to buy my shirt, they are going to come out and wear normal clothes and I know that sounds like ‘Oh Mary, what a horrible problem’, but on a personal level that is really hard.
“You know (England captain) Millie (Bright) spoke to me a couple of weeks ago, or maybe a bit longer, and said ‘Mary, my niece is desperate to get your shirt, where can I get it?’ I was like ‘Yeah you can’t, it doesn’t exist’.
“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.
“(Kids) are going to say ‘Mum, dad, can I have a Mary Earps’ shirt?’ And they say ‘I can’t, but I can get you an Alessia Russo 23, or a Rachel Daly 9’.
“And so what you are saying is that goalkeeping isn’t important, but you can be a striker if you want.”
England men’s keeper Jordan Pickford does not have a replica goalkeeper shirt available for purchase at the England store.
A Nike spokesman said: “Nike is committed to women’s football and we’re excited by the passion around this year’s tournament and the incredible win by the Lionesses to make it into the final.
“We are proudly offering the best of Nike innovation and services to our federation partners and hundreds of athletes.
“We hear and understand the desire for a retail version of a goalkeeper jersey and we are working towards solutions for future tournaments, in partnership with Fifa and the federations.
“The fact that there’s a conversation on this topic is testament to the continued passion and energy around the women’s game and we believe that’s encouraging.”
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