Adidas join Coke in corporate sport-washing of Saudi Arabia’s Italian Super Cup

December 20 – Adidas have become the latest FIFA sponsor to embrace the controversial Italian Super Cup after earlier this week Coca-Cola announced it would be the match’s title sponsor.

Adidas, in collaboration with Saudi-Moroccan calligraphy artist Shaker Kashgari, have created the first-ever football shirt to feature traditional Arabic calligraphy for Juventus.

“The limited-edition jersey pays homage to the traditional art form and is a celebration of Arabic culture. It also celebrates one of the most culturally diverse football clubs in the world, with 14 different nationalities from across Europe and South America in the Juventus first team,” said an adidas press release.

Inside each individual shirt number is a traditional Arabic calligraphy design that spells out the word ‘Juventus’, with each player’s name also written in Arabic text. Fans in Saudi Arabia will be able to buy the shirts with the Arabic text and the bespoke design December 20-23 at adidas stores in Riyadh and Jeddah. The match will be played December 22.

Serie A has been condemned by the football world for taking their Super Cup to Saudi Arabia in a £20 million three-year deal.

The Saudi Arabian regime has been criticised by the football world for its support of the pirate channel beoutQ and its broadcast piracy – including theft of Serie A matches – of international leagues and confederation championships. There has also been criticism of the country for its refusal to give women the opportunity of playing the game or even watching it in stadia, though there has been some relaxation of that ‘law’.

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