European Champions’ League Winners Real Madrid are to remove the cross at the top of their club badge in order to satisfy a partnership with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
The Spanish football club’s logo reportedly causes offence to some in the Muslim community, and now appears on credit cards issued by the bank.
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez unveiled the new badge, with the new credit card also acting as a membership card for the club, home to the world’s most expensive and iconic players in Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Perez said: “This agreement will help the club to keep conquering the hearts of followers in the United Arab Emirates.”
Real Madrid’s original badge with the cross will still be used in Europe, though the attention on the Middle East is noteworthy given the Spanish side recently took on Emirates as its shirt sponsor for the next five seasons. It is rumoured that the deal is worth €30 million a year.
The region’s interest in football is certainly picking up ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – how involved in the sport will the Middle East be by the time the world’s biggest tournament arrives?