Spanish football giant Real Madrid have removed the cross from their club logo as part of a deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the leading bank in the United Arab Emirates, Newsweek reports.
While the meeting between Abu Dhabi bank officials and the team, representedby by four of Real’s biggest stars including one of the world’s most expensiveplayers Gareth Bale, took place in September, Marca – Spain’s national sports newspaper which has close associations with the club – only put up the images of the proceedings this week.
Close ups of a newly designed credit card for the National Bank, which features the club’s logo, showed that the cross had been removed from the top of the crown on the team’s crest. Marca suggested that the reason the Christian symbol had been removed was “to avoid causing offence or discomfort among Muslim customers.”
The symbol holds significance in the history of Real Madrid as it signifies the team’s relationship with Spain’s royal family. The symbol was introduced in the 1920s as part of the emblem of the Spanish crown, when the club was given the title Real (Royal) by King Alfonso XIII and represented the Spanish royal house.
The team’s deal with Abu Dhabi will continue until at least 2017 and is worth approximately €90 million. The club has not commented on whether any other products carrying the Real Madrid logo will feature the edited version either for the Middle Eastern market or elsewhere.