Germany to redesign shirt numbers over comparisons to Nazi symbol

Germany to redesign shirt numbers over comparisons to Nazi symbol

The German Football Association (DFB) said it will change the typeface used on its national team shirts after one of the kit numbers drew comparisons to a Nazi symbol.

The new kit, launched before Germany host the European Championship in June and July, debuted during their 2-0 friendly win over France last month.

The number four on the new design has been criticised for bearing a resemblance to the insignia of the Nazis’ SS corps.

“The DFB checks the numbers 0-9 and then submits the numbers 1-26 to Uefa for review,” the DFB said in a statement.

“None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the creation process.

“Nevertheless, we take the comments very seriously and do not want to provide a platform for discussions … we will develop an alternative design for the number 4 and co-ordinate it with Uefa.”

Kit provider Adidas removed shirt personalisation options for the German strip from its website on Monday afternoon, German daily Bild reported.

“We will block the number 44 as quickly as possible,” Adidas spokesman Oliver Bruggen told German media. “People from around 100 countries work at Adidas. Our company stands for the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and as a company we actively campaign against xenophobia, antisemitism, violence and hatred in all forms.

“Any attempts to promote divisive or exclusionary views are not part of our values as a brand.”

Bruggen added Adidas “strongly rejects any suggestions that this was our intention.”

As of Tuesday morning, the name and number personalisation features were not available on the Adidas website.

Shirts with the number 44 were at the centre of the controversy, with the number set said to look most like the SS logo.

The stylized SS symbol is banned in Germany today.

Deliveries of shirts already ordered with the number had been stopped, Bild reported.

The new typeset was worn in recent friendlies against France and the Netherlands, as Germany prepares to host Euro 2024 from June 14 to July 14.

The DFB caused a stir last month when it announced that it would be replacing Adidas as its kit provider from 2027.

The German outfitter, which has supplied the national team since the 1950s, will make way for US sportswear giant Nike.

Updated: April 02, 2024, 9:03 AM

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