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Germany’s 44 number jersey banned for having ‘Nazi symbolism’


Ban on Number 44 German Football Jerseys Imposed by Adidas Over Nazi Imagery Concerns. — Adidas
Ban on Number 44 German Football Jerseys Imposed by Adidas Over Nazi Imagery Concerns. — Adidas

Adidas has enforced a ban on football enthusiasts customising German football kits with the number 44, citing concerns over its resemblance to symbols used by World War Two-era Nazi SS units. An Adidas spokesperson stated, “We will block personalisation of the jerseys,” acknowledging the gravity of the issue.

The controversy surrounding the newly released kit extends beyond the number 44, with criticism directed at the choice of pink for the away colours. Historian Michael König highlighted the “very questionable” design, prompting widespread debate.

The emblematic SS rune, originating in 1929 for use by Nazi units, evokes memories of atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Despite assertions from Adidas spokesman Oliver Brüggen that the resemblance was unintentional, scrutiny remains high.

Additionally, the German Football Association (DFB) clarified that the numbers on the shirts were designed collaboratively with partners and submitted for UEFA review. While no concerns were initially raised, an alternative design for the number 4 is now in development.

The controversy deepens as criticism mounts over the choice of bright pink as the away colour. Supporters defend it as a symbol of diversity, while detractors argue it deviates from tradition and serves commercial interests rather than cultural representation.

Adidas’s longstanding partnership with German football faces an uncertain future, with the DFB’s decision to switch to American giant Nike as the kit manufacturer from 2027 drawing criticism for its perceived lack of patriotism from Economy Minister Robert Habeck.

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