• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Germany, Adidas recall jerseys over Nazi symbolism

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The German Football Association and Adidas have stopped the sale of German jerseys with the number 44 over the resemblance to the Nazi symbol.

Adidas on Tuesday stopped offering the personalisation of jerseys with names and numbers, and the federation halted the delivery of jerseys with the number 44 from its online shop.

The federation said it was looking for an alternative design for the number four together with its partner, 11teamsports.

The number four worn by national team players was said to bear a resemblance to the insignia of the Nazis’ elite SS corps.

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

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

The call to withdraw jerseys with number 44 came after it was pointed out that the two fours together resembled the stylised 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 stylized SS symbol is banned in Germany today.

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, antisemitism, 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”.