• Sunday, April 14, 2024


Germany to redesign football jerseys after outrage over Nazi symbolism

The option to customise German team jerseys has been temporarily removed from Adidas’ websites. (Representative photo: Getty images)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Amidst growing controversy, German football authorities have announced plans to redesign the number “4” on the national team’s jerseys due to concerns over its resemblance to a logo associated with Nazi paramilitary units.

The decision comes after social media users utilised Adidas’ online customisation service to create jerseys bearing the number “44,” which many pointed out bore a striking similarity to the Schutzstaffel (SS) logo.

The Schutzstaffel (SS), often stylised as ᛋᛋ with Armanen runes, was a significant paramilitary group within Nazi Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Operating during World War II, the SS expanded its influence beyond Germany to encompass territories under German occupation throughout Europe.

The German Football Association (DFB) stated that they had initially submitted jersey designs to UEFA for review, with no concerns raised regarding Nazi symbolism. However, in light of the public outcry, the DFB is taking the matter seriously and developing an alternative design for the digit.

“We will block the number 44 as quickly as possible, As a company, we actively oppose xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence, and hatred in any form,” said Oliver Bruggen, Adidas spokesman to the German media.

Although the number “44” is not currently used by the German teams, Adidas allowed customers to personalise jerseys with this number. Following the backlash, the sportswear giant swiftly announced plans to block the number “44” from customisation options, emphasising their stance against xenophobia and hatred.

As a result of these developments, the option to customise German team jerseys has been temporarily removed from Adidas’ websites. The decision raises questions about the future availability of the personalisation service and the potential return of the number “4” option.

The SS logo, associated with heinous crimes committed during World War II, remains a potent reminder of the atrocities of the Nazi regime.

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