German Football Association to Redesign Controversial Kit Number Amid Nazi Symbolism Concerns

April 1, 2024 – The German Football Association (DFB) has announced plans to change the design of the number four on the national team’s kit. This decision comes after criticisms that the current design bears a resemblance to the insignia of the Nazis’ elite SS corps. Despite the DFB’s initial review, which did not identify any associations with Nazi symbolism, the organization has decided to avoid further controversy.

The DFB stated, “None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the creation process.” However, acknowledging the potential for public debate, the DFB has opted not to “provide a platform for discussion.” A new design for the number four will be developed in collaboration with partner 11teamsports and will be submitted to UEFA for approval.

Adidas, the current kit provider for the German national team, has temporarily halted the personalization of German jerseys on its website, specifically those involving the number 44, which was at the heart of the controversy. The sports apparel giant has also ceased deliveries of shirts already ordered with the controversial number.

This kit change occurs as Germany gears up to host the men’s European football championship in June and July, having recently showcased the contentious typeset in friendlies against France and the Netherlands. Additionally, the DFB disclosed last month a significant shift in its kit partnership, moving from Adidas to Nike starting in 2027, ending a decades-long association with the German sportswear brand.

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