Why Germany football fans are banned from buying number 44 kits and the Nazi connection

Why Germany football fans are banned from buying number 44 kits and the Nazi connection

Adidas and German football federation have banned football fans from buying German football kits customised with the number 44.

The German Football Association (DFB) has been forced to change the typeface used on its shirts after one of the kit numbers on the jerseys drew comparisons with a Nazi symbol. The number four on the national shirt in the current typeface is said to be similar to that of the insignia of the Nazis’ elite Schutzstaffel group, also known as SS corps.

Kit provider Adidas, meanwhile, has already banned fans from personalising shirts with number 44 as it is said to be similar to insignia of SS corps. At the same time, German Football Association has stopped delivery of shirts with number 44.

The SS corps was a paramilitary organisation under Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich and were responsible for running the concentration camps.

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

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

Nonetheless, the sporting body said it did not want to “provide a platform for discussion”.

DFP are now looking to use a new design.

“Together with our partner 11teamsports, we will develop an alternative design for the number four and coordinate it with UEFA,” the DFB said.

The new typeset was worn in recent friendlies against France and the Netherlands, as Germany prepares to host the men’s European football championship in June and July.

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.

With AFP inputs

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