Miss Universe at centre of female football furore

A former Miss Universe winner has caused controversy over an ad of her wearing a national football side's new jersey.

The Colombia women’s team are furious that Adidas have used model Paulina Vega to show off their new kit.

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The former Miss Colombia and Miss Universe winner posed in the national team shirt when it was officially released earlier this week.

Vega posted the photo on Instagram and wrote: “The new Colombia team shirt empowers me. Ready to support them in Russia.”

But players aren't happy, with goalkeeper Vanessa Cordoba, daughter of retired great Oscar, writing on social media: "I have nothing against Adidas, and I acknowledge that football belongs to everyone, whether they play or not."

“I also appreciate that they gave the shirt to a successful and influential woman for advertising purposes.

“However, in terms of respect and merit, one of the players should have received it first.

The players aren't happy. Image: Getty

“It’s fine that they include celebrities to help promote football, I just don’t agree that Paulina Vega should wear the shirt before, say, Catalina Usme.”

The Colombian men's team have since agreed with Cordoba.

“Cordoba’s unhappiness is completely justified," they tweeted.

“Adidas made an involuntary mistake that we’re sure they’ll make up for.”

Cordoba, an avid fighter for gender equality, responded to the controversy.

“MANY THANKS to all the people who have become involved in this opinion about the new shirt of the Colombian Soccer Team," she said.

“It has been an enriching experience to be able to read and listen to different points of view.

“My only feeling towards the women of our country and the rest of the world (athletes or not) is respect and admiration because we are in this together.

“I am happy to have been able to give visibility to the subject and I hope that everyone contributing can shape our society.

“We use that shirt for the love of our country so let’s make it represent UNION, EQUALITY and EQUITY!”