5 Apr 2014

$180 for an England football shirt

6:05 am on 5 April 2014

Sportwear company Nike and the English FA have come under fire after England World Cup shirts went on sale for a price of up to $180 ahead of this year's tournament in Brazil.

The US company said the top price was for a limited edition shirt which was an exact copy in terms of material, fit and finish of what the England players will wear.

A more basic replica shirt costs $120.

British newspapers branded the shirts a "rip-off" but Nike's German rivals Adidas and Puma are charging similar prices for the shirts of major countries they are supplying at the World Cup.

The England shirt is usually a big seller with fans who take pride in wearing the national team jersey during major tournaments and the pricing added to broader concerns that supporters are being exploited for their loyalty.

Adidas and US rival Nike are battling for supremacy in a football kit industry worth more than $7 billion annually.

Nike is supplying 10 of the 32 finalists including hosts Brazil, France and the Netherlands. Adidas has nine teams and Puma is kitting out eight.