Germany’s No. 44 Jersey Banned Over ‘Nazi Symbolism’ Concerns

Web DeskApril 2, 20241093 min
Germany's No. 44 Jersey Banned Over 'Nazi Symbolism' Concerns

Adidas has implemented a prohibition on football enthusiasts customizing German football kits with the number 44, citing concerns over its resemblance to symbols utilized by World War Two-era Nazi SS units. An Adidas spokesperson affirmed, “We will block personalization of the jerseys,” acknowledging the seriousness of the matter.

The controversy surrounding the recently unveiled kit extends beyond the number 44, with criticism aimed at the choice of pink for the away colors. Historian Michael König underscored the “very questionable” design, sparking widespread debate.

The emblematic SS rune, dating back to 1929 for use by Nazi units, evokes memories of atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Despite assertions from Adidas spokesman Oliver Brüggen that the resemblance was unintentional, scrutiny persists.

Moreover, the German Football Association (DFB) clarified that the numbers on the shirts were developed collaboratively with partners and subjected to UEFA review. While no concerns were initially raised, an alternative design for the number 4 is now being crafted.

The controversy deepens as criticism mounts over the selection of bright pink as the away color. Supporters defend it as a symbol of diversity, while detractors argue it strays from tradition and serves commercial interests rather than cultural representation.

Adidas’s longstanding partnership with German football faces an uncertain future, with the DFB’s decision to transition to American giant Nike as the kit manufacturer from 2027 drawing criticism for its perceived lack of patriotism from Economy Minister Robert Habeck.

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