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Sport

Soccer: Fans of Australian women's team find only men's away shirt is on sale

(Reuters) - Australia’s women’s soccer team, the Matildas, apologised on Friday after it emerged that their replica away kit was not on sale in female sizes.

The new kit, made by Nike of 100% recycled polyester from plastic bottles, was unveiled earlier alongside the men’s home and away jerseys but fans soon noted that only the women’s gold home shirt was available for purchase online.

“Unfortunately, the new national team’s away kit will not be available in women’s sizes,” the Matildas, currently ranked seventh in the world, said on their official Twitter account in response to queries about the green shirt.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and can assure supporters that this will be rectified for the next kit release due in 2022.”

Australia and New Zealand are due to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The omission drew amazement on social media, with players also reacting.

Photographs on the Football Federation Australia (FFA) website showed Ellie Carpenter, who plays as a defender for Olympique Lyonnais in France, modelling the away shirt.

“Ummmmm. this is a fairly significant problem,” commented defensive midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight, who plays in the Swedish league.

ABC News quoted an FFA spokesman saying the organisation would not comment further “at the moment”.

Last year the Matildas brokered a landmark deal to close the pay gap between the women’s and men’s teams.

Under the deal, the FFA and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) also agreed a new three-tiered centralised contract system with the country’s top female players earning the same as the men’s team.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis

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