Sale of Germany’s Adidas football shirts blocked over ‘Nazi SS’ design

Sale of Germany’s Adidas football shirts blocked over ‘Nazi SS’ design

Football fans will be blocked from buying Germany Euro 2024 kits with the number 44 on them amid concerns over unintended Nazi symbolism.

Adidas, which makes the kit, has insisted similarities between the number and the logo of the SS are unintentional, but nonetheless said personalised shirts carrying “44” will not be made available for sale.

The “44” design bears a resemblance to the SS lightning bolt logo now used regularly by neo-Nazis.

The SS was the arm of the Nazi party responsible for executing the Holocaust.

Adidas spokesman Oliver Bruggen said the company would “block the number 44 as quickly as possible”.

Bruggen said on behalf of the German shoe giant – which recently paid a huge sum to end its partnership with antisemitic rap artist Ye (Kanye West) in 2022 – that “as a company we actively oppose xenophobia, antisemitism, violence and hatred in any form”.

The Germany Football Association (DFB) wrote in a statement: “We check the numbers 0-9 and then submit the numbers 1-26 to Uefa for review. None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the development process of the jersey design.

“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 coordinate it with Uefa.”

In Germany, the public display of the SS symbol can lead to criminal prosecutions, with convictions potentially resulting in years behind bars.

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