Major sporting goods groups such as Nike, Adidas and Puma rely on an ever-growing selection of football jerseys and even offer special, alternative and warm-up jerseys for fans. Even the apparel of the professional women's teams are now part of the companies' fan range - apart from the goalkeeper's jerseys for the World Cup.
The missing goalkeeper kit has caused a stir, especially in England ahead of the start of the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup. There, Britain's number one goalkeeper, Mary Earps, vented that outfitter Nike is not offering her shirt for sale, as reported by various British media outlets including The Independent. That's despite the fact that she had been promised after winning the European Championship last year - in front of a home crowd - that this would change. Earps had still sought talks with the Football Association and the US sporting goods company, but to no avail.
Nike stressed in a statement to FashionUnited that the sportswear company is working with FIFA and the individual federations to determine the range and individual jerseys of the players. The basis for a jersey going on sale is based on several factors, including demand in some markets, the company said.
Adidas: More products than last tournament, yet no goalkeeper jersey
Meanwhile, Earps' Manchester United kit is available in different variants and was even among the best-selling kits in her club's online shop last season, the goalkeeper to the English media outlet. However, Manchester United's current supplier Adidas, which is outfitting ten women's national teams at the tournament, is also not offering goalkeeper international jerseys.
"We are proud to be able to provide our ten participating federations with 15 times more product than the last tournament, as we have put together the largest selection of jerseys for a Women's World Cup," Oliver Brüggen, PR director at Central Europe Adidas, told FashionUnited.
Brüggen added that the German sports retailer's product range offers a customised away jersey and a uniform home jersey for the men's teams, as well as its own goalkeeper jerseys that are "exclusively available to the players on the pitch".
Puma is represented in the group stage of the World Cup by teams Morocco and Switzerland. There is no goalkeeper jersey available for sale in these countries either, although Puma has all jersey variations. This decision is not in the hands of the sports goods manufacturer, Puma explained at the request of FashionUnited. The respective clubs and associations are responsible for this, which decide independently which products they offer locally.
However, there seem to be exceptions for outfitters who only sent one team into the race. The Danish national team, together with the Danish sportswear supplier Hummel, offers several jerseys for goalkeepers and the Irish national team also has a long-sleeved goalkeeper jersey from the British brand Castore available via their online shop.
So there are indeed some soccer associations and clubs - like seven-time 'Uefa Women's Champions League' winner Olympique Lyon - that offer this jersey for fans or at least offer it as a jersey for men and women, like FC Barcelona, even if only male models can be seen in the online store. Nevertheless, the 'Goalkeeper' jersey, if it is offered at all, can usually only be found in the menswear category.