Adidas to redesign number 4 on Germany shirt and bans sales of 44 kit number

April 2 – The German FA and Adidas have withdrawn the sale of customised shirts incorporating the number 44 because of a resemblance to the logo of the Nazi Party’s notorious SS paramilitary units.

The new kit, launched ahead of Germany hosting the European Championship in June and July, was first seen in recent friendlies against France and the Netherlands.

The moves to withdraw shirts with number 44 came after it was pointed out that the two fours together resembled the symbol used by SS units. Concerns were originally raised by the historian Michael König, who said the kit’s design was “very questionable”.

An Adidas spokesperson, Oliver Brüggen, denied that the kit’s resemblance to the Nazi symbols was intentional. “We as a company are committed to opposing xenophobia, antisemitism, violence and hatred in every form,” he was quoted as saying. “We will block the number 44 as quickly as possible.”

The DFB said the shirt typeface had been submitted to UEFA for review during the design process and that “none of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism”.

“Nevertheless, we take the comments very seriously and do not want to provide a platform for discussions… we will develop an alternative design for the number 4 and coordinate it with UEFA.”

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