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Adidas bars fans from adding '44' to German team football shirts


Adidas has implemented a ban on football fans from personalizing the German national football shirt with the number 44, citing concerns over its resemblance to the symbol used by Nazi SS units during World War II.

The Schutzstaffel (SS), a paramilitary arm of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, was notorious for its role in carrying out the genocide of Jewish people across Europe.

Historian Michael König initially raised concerns about the design of the kit, describing it as "very questionable."

In addition to the controversy surrounding the number, the pink color of the German away kit has also sparked debate. While some supporters argue that it symbolizes Germany's diversity, critics view it as unconventional and a commercial tactic by the German Football Association (DFB).

Adidas spokesperson Oliver Brüggen denied any intentional resemblance to Nazi symbols in the kit's design, emphasizing the company's commitment to opposing xenophobia, antisemitism, violence, and hatred in all forms. He stated, "We will block personalization of the jerseys."

The SS rune, designed in 1929, has become synonymous with the atrocities committed by the Nazis, including guarding concentration camps and operating extermination camps like Auschwitz.

This incident follows recent controversy surrounding changes made to the St George’s cross on the back collar of England's football shirt. Nike's inclusion of purple and navy alongside the traditional red was interpreted by some as a gesture of inclusivity, while others criticized it as disrespectful.

The upcoming European Football Championship, set to take place in Germany, will feature matches across 10 different cities. The tournament will commence on June 14 with the host nation facing Scotland.

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TAGS:AdidasGerman Football TeamSS Rune
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