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Real Madrid pulls Christian cross crest in the Middle East after entering Abu Dhabi partnership

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

November 27, 2014 | 3 min read

Spanish football team Real Madrid has removed the Christian Cross from its crest on products shipping to the Middle East in order to avoid alienating Muslim fans of the club.

The crest, which has featured a cross atop a crown since it was designed in 1931, will see its religious iconography removed for the Middle East audience. The logo change was issued to appease the National Bank of Abu Dhabi which signed a lucrative three-year sponsorship deal with the club in September

On the agreement, Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, said: “We want to continue being the world's best come. For this it is important for us to sign this agreement.

The cross atop the crown will be removed in the Middle East

“I know that each match is lived with a special emotion and that the link with the UAE makes it better. This agreement will help the club to conquer the hearts of followers in the United Arab Emirates. We will become even closer to them. I hope that this alliance for the next three years can become a permanent thing.”

The crest will remain unaltered internationally, with products shipping to the Middle East only being subjected to the amendment. Nonetheless, Spanish sports tabloid Marca accused the side of the “compromising aspects of its identity in pursuit of new fans”.

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Last week, Real Madrid rival Valencia fended off a lawsuit from DC Comics complaining over its team crest’s likeness to the Batman shield.

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