LONDON (AFP) - Manchester United kit maker Adidas has been forced to defend its controversial new shirt designed specifically for female fans of the Premier League club.
Adidas unveiled the first United kit of its £750 million (S$1.6 billion) deal with the Old Trafford team last week.
But the German sportswear giant was criticised for the design of the women's shirt, which had a much lower neckline than the men's version and was branded sexist by some fans on social media.
One United supporter, @MUnitedGirl, posted on Twitter: "Seriously Adidas? Why is the V-neck so low compared with the men's one? Some of us don't like to show cleavage. I call that discrimination. Nike never did that."
She also tweeted photos of herself "wearing last year's Man United female kit made by Nike".
Responding to the criticism, Adidas said it took the thoughts of fans into account before producing the kit.
"Adidas provides an adult shirt which is a replica of what the players wear," an Adidas spokesperson said on Monday. "Based on research from fans, we also offer a women's shirt as part of our lifestyle range of products.
"This range has a slightly different design and fit to give fans a choice."
Nike did not produce a women's version of the United shirt last season and Adidas also pointed out it has made women's kits for the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich without complaints.