Germany soccer team jerseys will be redesigned after Nazi logo similarities


Germany’s soccer federation is redesigning its national team’s Adidas jerseys after claims that the kits’ No. 44 numbering looked similar to a Nazi symbol. 

The German soccer federation (DFB) announced on social media that the organization and its partner, 11teamsports, an online store that sells sports gear, will develop an alternate design for the number 4 after fans spotted similarities between the custom No. 44 jersey and the logo of the Schutzstaffel – Adolf Hitler’s infamous paramilitary force.

France v Germany - International Friendly
Jonathan Tah of Germany, who wears No. 4, dribbles during the international friendly match between France and Germany at Groupama Stadium on March 23, 2024 in Lyon, France.

Ralf Ibing – firo sportphoto/Getty Images

The DFB said it was taking the matter “very seriously” after people on social media used Adidas’ online customization service to make shirts with the number 44 and showed how it resembled the Schutzstaffel’s SS symbol, which looks like two lightning bolts. Since no players currently on the men’s nor women’s soccer roster wear No. 44, the jersey needed to be created using the personalization tool. 

“None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the development process of the jersey design,” the federation said on X. The DFB said it checks jersey numbers between zero and nine and then submits one through 26 to UEFA, the governing body of soccer in Europe, for review. The German soccer federation will coordinate with UEFA to make the changes.

Adidas said in a statement to CBS News on Tuesday that DFB and 11teamsports “are responsible” for the design of the names and numbers. The sports apparel company also told CBS News it’s blocking the “personalization of the jerseys in our online store.”

“Our company stands for the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and as a company we actively oppose xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence, and hatred in any form,” Adidas said. 

France v Germany - International Friendly
Germany debuted its new Adidas jerseys during an international friendly match against France on March 23 at Groupama Stadium in Lyon, France.

Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

The DFB unveiled the jerseys in March and the men’s national team debuted the kits during a match against France. The jerseys will be worn by the team for the 2024 UEFA European championship, which will take place in Germany. 

The controversy around the Adidas jerseys comes as Nike will become Germany’s official shirt supplier, beginning in 2027. Adidas had long been part of Germany’s soccer teams, having a relationship with the team for around 70 years. 


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