Row over Spain World Cup shirt as colours linked to Republican flag

The Spain shirt that will be used in next summer's World Cup has sparked controversy after being linked to the country's Republican flag of the 1930s.

The shirt has the colours red, yellow and blue, but some say that, from a distance, the blue appears to have the same purple tone of the Republican flag in use from 1931-39.

The flag is still used by those who oppose the Spanish monarch.

Kit manufacturer Adidas said there were no political implications in the shirt, and that the design was agreed upon with the Spanish FA.

"The current design represents the courage and the fury of our national team, with graphics of red, yellow and blue diamonds which represent the best qualities of this team: Speed, energy and its renowned style of play," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Federation officials also said there was no intended link to the Republican flag.

The shirt is a throwback to the one used by Spain at the 1994 World Cup, with a side pattern mixing the three colours. Its main colour remains red. The shorts will be blue and the socks black.

Spain is in the midst of a political crisis as Catalonia pushes for independence from the country.