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Real Madrid logo won't feature Christian cross in Middle East clothing deal

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Baku, January 26 AZERTAC

The club crest of Spanish soccer team Real Madrid will not feature the traditional Christian cross on clothing sold in some Middle East countries under a regional deal, according to Reuters.

Marka MARKA.DU, a retailing group in the United Arab Emirates, has been granted exclusive rights to "manufacture, distribute and sell Real Madrid products" in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

But Marka Vice Chairman Khaled al-Mheiri told Reuters by phone Real Madrid has two versions of the crest for the Middle East market and that Marka would use the one without the Christian cross due to cultural sensitivities.

The redesigning of the crest would require only a minor change. The original features a very small Christian cross at the top of a crown on the crest.

The agreement allows Marka to sell clothing such as t-shirts, polo shirts and swim wear featuring the Real Madrid name and crest. Sales will start by March, al-Mheiri said.

The deal does not cover replica jerseys, which are sold in Dubai featuring the cross.Real Madrid did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

But it is not the first time the symbol has been altered.

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