Nike confirms it will sell Mary Earps' replica kit following backlash

Credit: PA

Nike has confirmed it will sell England goalkeeper Mary Earps' replica shirt following weeks of pressure.

As the Lionesses soared to the final of the Women's World Cup, fans were left disappointed they were unable to buy replicas of England's star goalkeeper's kit and resorted to making their own DIY shirts.

Earps, who saved Jennifer Hermoso’s spotkick and was a standout performer for the Lionesses as they lost 1-0 to Spain at Sunday's nail biting final, previously called Nike's move "hugely disappointing and very hurtful".

Nike - the supplier of the kit for England's women's national team - had previously said it was "working towards solutions for future tournaments" following the final.

But on Thursday, the firm U-turned on its decision and confirmed it will be selling limited numbers of women's goalkeeper jerseys for England, the US, France and the Netherlands.

It admitted "we didn’t serve those fans who wished to show their passion and support to the squad's goalkeepers" and is "committed to retailing women’s goalkeeping jerseys for major tournaments in the future.”

Earps took to Instagram on Tuesday afternoon to call out the firm again, writing: “@Nike is this your version of an apology/taking accountability/a powerful statement of intent?”

The goalkeeper called out Nike on Tuesday afternoon for its statement. Credit: Instagram/@1maryearps/PA

In a following post, Earps provided a link to a petition that started in July, calling on Nike to release the goalkeeper shirt. It currently has more than 151,000 signatories.

A Nike spokesperson confirmed to ITV News: “We've seen and share the unprecedented passion and interest in women’s football this year and remain committed to playing our part by offering the best products and services to athletes and fans. We invested more in this year’s WC than any other global tournament to date.

"Nike has secured limited quantities of goalkeeper jerseys for England, U.S., France, and the Netherlands to be sold through the Federation websites over the coming days, and we are also in conversations with our other Federation partners.

"We recognize that during the tournament we didn’t serve those fans who wished to show their passion and support to the squad's goalkeepers. We are committed to retailing women’s goalkeeping jerseys for major tournaments in the future.”

The 30-year-old player won the Women's Super League Golden Glove award for the most clean sheets kept during the season and was named the world’s best women’s goalkeeper at last year’s Best FIFA Football Awards, and is a Euro 2022 champion.

Speaking last month about the shirt snub, Earps 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.

“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."

A Nike spokesman had previously 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.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...