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Adidas says women to get same World Cup bonus as men

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HERZOGENAURACH, Germany (AP) Sportswear maker Adidas says it will give the same bonus to any of its sponsored players on the Women’s World Cup-winning soccer team as their male counterparts.

Adidas says on Twitter that it believes “in inspiring and enabling the next generation of female athletes, creators and leaders through breaking barriers.”

On Friday – International Women’s Day – American players filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation over equal treatment and pay. The players alleged ongoing “institutionalized gender discrimination” that includes unequal pay with their counterparts on the men’s national team.

The U.S. defends its title at the Women’s World Cup, which starts June 7 in France.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

PHOTOS: Adidas’ colorful UEFA Nations League match ball

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There’s going to be a lot of color whizzing around the pitches of the UEFA Nations League.

Adidas unveiled the new match ball for UEFA’s new competition, which you’ll be seeing for the first time in this week’s games.

[ MORE: Hernandez to MUFC or Real? ]

Primarily grey and white with multi-colored circles of red, green, blue, and yellow, it’s a new look.

Will future iterations follow the same path as the Champions League, which has largely kept the star motif?

Here’s an idea: Make the ball the colors of the reigning champions of the four leagues (A-D), or the League A champions and the promoted teams from Leagues B-D. It would be a neat honor for a tournament which will need time to gain renown.

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Like clockwork, top goalkeepers criticize new World Cup ball

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It’s a tradition as old as time — the union of top goalkeepers from all over the world, no matter the continent from which they hail, complaining about the new ball to be used at the upcoming World Cup.

[ MORE: New USMNT kits for 2018 World Cup ]

By the end of this summer’s tournament in Russia, you’ll reflexively twitch every time you hear the words “Telstar 18.” Goalkeepers will tell you that it’s designed to deceive them, to boost goalscoring numbers during major tournaments.

Below you’ll find the critical, but restrained so as not to offend, assessments of goalkeepers David De Gea (Spain’s no. 1), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany’s no. 1b) and Pepe Reina (De Gea’s wily backup) — quotes from FourFourTwo:

“It’s really strange. It could have been made a lot better.”

“The ball could be better; it moves a lot. But I think we’re just going to have to get used to working with it — and try to get to grips with it as quickly as possible before the World Cup starts. We’ve got no other option.”

“They should change it. There’s still time.”

[ MORE: France blow a lead, lose to Colombia; England top Holland ]

Unsurprisingly, top attacking stars — those who presumably stand to benefit from a ball that unpredictably moves on goalkeepers — have given their seal of approval for Telstar 18.

Adidas reveals away kits for Mexico, Argentina, 7 other World Cup squads

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Fans of El Tri, La Albiceleste, Die Mannschaft and more can now get their hands on another set of 2018 World Cup jerseys.

Adidas unveiled the latest designs for the away kits of nine World Cup squads, including Mexico, Argentina and the defending champions Germany, with some of the team’s star players modeling the kits. Carlos Vela, Lionel Messi and Toni Kroos are all pictured in Adidas’ photo shoots with the new kits, and the uniforms are inspired by the kits worn at previous World Cups.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sweden, Colombia, Japan, Belgium and the host nation Russia are also included.

“For adidas, the World Cup has always been the stage to showcase some of our most iconic products, innovations and designs,” Juergen Rank, Senior Design Director said in a statement. “Many of these classic designs remain hugely popular with fans, and we want to continue to celebrate them while introducing new innovations, combining authenticity with progression.

“The new official World Cup away kits feature both the latest product technologies to ensure peak performance on the pitch and easily identifiable classic looks, making them perfectly suited to both the stadium and the street.”

Check out the latest kit release from Adidas below.

Spain’s World Cup jersey sparks controversy

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MADRID (AP) Spain’s jersey for the World Cup has sparked controversy after being linked to the Republican flag of the 1930s.

The jersey has the colors red, yellow and blue. Some say that from afar the blue appears to have the same purple tone of the Republican flag used from 1931-39.

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

[ JPW: PL Playback – Week 11 ]

Apparel maker Adidas said there were no political implications in the jersey, and the design was agreed upon with the Spanish Football Federation a long time ago.

“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 that there was no intended link to the Republican flag.

[ MORE: Ranking the kits so far ]

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

Spain is in the midst of a political crisis after Catalonia pushed for independence from the rest of the country.