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Adidas Bans German Football Jerseys With Number 44

Adidas has prohibited football enthusiasts from purchasing German football jerseys customized with the number 44, citing concerns over its resemblance to the emblem utilized by Nazi SS units during World War II.

“We will block personalization of the jerseys,” confirmed an Adidas spokesperson.

The SS units were notably implicated in the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

The newly unveiled kit has stirred controversy not only due to the number 44 issue but also with its selection of pink as the away color.

Historian Michael König initially flagged the symbolism concern, describing the kit’s design as “very questionable.”

The SS rune, created in 1929, was adopted by Nazi units. Members of the SS encompassed Gestapo agents and concentration camp guards, overseeing operations including the administration of death camps where millions were killed.

Adidas spokesperson Oliver Brüggen refuted any intentional resemblance to Nazi symbols in the kit’s design, asserting the company’s firm stance against xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence, and hatred.

Adidas clarified to the news that the German Football Association (DFB) and its partners were responsible for the jersey’s number design.

In a Twitter post, the DFB stated that the shirt designs had undergone UEFA review during the design phase, with no party identifying any proximity to Nazi symbolism. They announced plans to develop an alternative design for the number 4.

The kit’s adoption of bright pink as the away color has sparked further debate. Advocates argue it symbolizes the nation’s diversity, while critics allege it deviates from tradition and is a fundraising ploy for the DFB.

Adidas has been producing German jerseys since the 1950s. However, the DFB’s decision to switch to American giant Nike as the manufacturer of German football kits starting in 2027 has drawn criticism for its perceived lack of patriotism, according to Economy Minister Robert Habeck.

Germany is set to host this year’s European Football Championship across 10 different cities.

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