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Sports Direct stores will only open if given govt permission

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - Sports Direct stores will only open if they are given permission to do so, the finance chief of the retailer's parent group said on Tuesday, clarifying an earlier email to its staff.

Sports Direct, owned by Frasers Group, had earlier suggested it would defy Prime Minister Boris Johnson's order for all but non-essential shops to close.

Frasers's finance chief Chris Wootten said he had asked the government for permission to open its Sports Direct stores, arguing that sports equipment was essential for people to have at home at a time when they were being encouraged not to leave their homes. (Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle)