Germany kit 44: Adidas bans fans from buying Euro 2024 shirt number due to links with infamous Nazi symbol

Historian Michael König has raised concerns about Germany’s new kit which will be worn in Euro 2024
Germany's new kit has been slammed by historians.Germany's new kit has been slammed by historians.
Germany's new kit has been slammed by historians.

Adidas has officially banned football fans from buying German national team football kits featuring the number 44, due to its perceived connotations with the Nazi era. The symbolism issue was first raised by historian Michael Konig, who said the design of the kits was ‘very questionable’, whilst claiming that it resembled the Nazi SS units which were used during the second world war. The Schutzstaffel (SS) were a parliamentary organisation formed by Adolf Hitler in 1929. Members of the SS were responsible for guarding concentration camps, interrogating suspected traitors and running extermination camps such as Auschwitz, where more than a million Jewish people were murdered.

Adidas spokesman Oliver Bruggen denied that the kit’s resemblance to the symbols was intentional. He explained: “We as a company are committed to opposing xenophobia, anti-semetism, violence and hatred in every form.” Adidas told the BBC that the German Football Association (DFB) and its partners designed the numbers on the shirts which had been posted to UEFA for review and during the process none of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism.

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They have since explained that an alternative design for number 4 would be developed. The same kit has also been the subject of additional controversy for its choice of bright pink as the away colour. Some have praised the move for representing the country's diversity, while critics have slammed it and claim the colour is untraditional and has been introduced as a 'cash grab' for the DFB.

Adidas has manufactured all German football jerseys in each major tournaments since the start of the 1950s, but the DFB will soon be switching to American giant Nike from 2027 onwards. Germany are the host nation at this year’s European Championships, which will be held in 10 different cities across the country. The three-time winners will kick off the tournament against Scotland on Friday 14 June.

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