Top Spanish football team Real Madrid has removed the cross from the top of its club crest, apparently in order to avoid offending Muslims.
A crown with a tiny cross on top of it was added to the club’s crest in 1920, approved by King Alfonso XIII, to reflect the club changing its name from Madrid Club de Futbol to Real Madrid. The crown was dropped from 1931 to 1941, but was restored to the crest after the Spanish Civil War and has remained there ever since.
It was removed two years ago in logos for a theme park, Real Madrid Resort Island, being built in the UAE. But now it appears that it has been dropped for use throughout the Middle East following Real Madrid signing a lucrative three-year deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
Club president Florentino Perez described the deal as a “strategic alliance with one of the most prestigious institutions in the world”. The deal was signed in September, but images of the new logo have only just appeared.
A new National Bank of Abu Dhabi credit card that doubles as a Real Madrid membership card shows the new crest without its cross.
Florentino Perez said in September that “our links with the UAE are constantly growing stronger. This agreement will help the club to keep conquering the hearts of followers in the United Arab Emirates.”
The Spanish sports newspaper Marca adds: “And from the looks of things, the club is willing to compromise on aspects of its identity in pursuit of these new fans.”
The previous logo, with its cross on top of the crown, will still be used in Europe.