Germany changing No. 4 to avoid Nazi symbolism


The design for the No. 4 on Germany‘s national team shirts will be changed over concerns that the No. ’44’ resembled the symbol used by Nazi ‘SS’ units, the German Football Association (DFB) said on Monday.

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 DFB checks the numbers 0-9 and then submits the numbers 1-26 to UEFA for review. None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the creation process of the jersey design,” the DFB said in a statement on X.

“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 coordinate it with UEFA.”

The moves to withdraw jerseys with number 44 came after it was pointed out that the two fours together resembled the stylized SS used by the Nazi Party’s Schutzstaffel group. Commonly known as the SS, it included police units, combat forces and others who ran the concentration camps that carried out the mass killings of civilians during World War II.

The DFB’s official supplier Adidas had earlier said that they would remove the number 44 from their range of customisation options.

Adidas spokesman Oliver Brüggen told news agency dpa that the federation and 11teamsports were responsible for the design of the names and numbers on the shirts.

“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, anti-Semitism, violence and hatred in all forms,” Brüggen said. “Any attempts to promote divisive or exclusionary views are not part of our values as a brand.”

Brüggen said Adidas “strongly rejects any suggestions that this was our intention.”

The stylized SS symbol is banned in Germany today.



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