Religion | Despite best efforts, Inter’s knights err

In spite of the controversy, both Internazionale and Fenerbahçe have advanced to the Champions League elimination rounds and could meet again as early as the quarterfinals.


  • Eintracht Frankfurt, citing the imbroglio over Inter’s shirts, rejected the cross motif as the first-choice design of supporters. The team sought a new look for the 2008–09 season but opted instead for a shirt with stylized eagle markings, eschewing any religious messages that might be read into the cross imagery (“German Soccer Team Shies Away from Cross on Jersey,” Reuters Soccer Blog, Mar 22).
  • Barcelona-based La Vanguardia discovered that Barça jerseys in Saudi Arabia and Algeria—apparently without knowledge of the club—were being sold without the cross of St. George, which occupies the upper-left section of the team’s badge (Xavier G. Luque, “Los países islámicos retocan el escudo del Barça para no herir sensibilidades,” Dec 15). St. George is the patron saint of the Catalan region. Various vendors in Saudi Arabia, the Spanish news agency EFE reported from Riyadh on Dec 19, prefer not to display the official Barça strip for fear the shirts will be confiscated by religious police (“Persecución a la cruz en Riad”). Barça had to alter its badge during Franco’s reign (1939–75) when display of the red and white stripes of the Catalan flag was forbidden.

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