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Adidas’ Football Uniform Creates Controversy, German Fans Barred From Wearing Number 44

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Adidas has prohibited football fans from purchasing German football uniforms featuring the number 44, following criticism from the media on their similarity to the mark adopted by Nazi SS soldiers during World War II.

The majority of the Nazis’ crimes against humanity were carried out by SS forces. The decision to utilize pink as the away color for the recently unveiled kit has also sparked debate.

“We will block personalization of the jerseys,” an Adidas representative declared.

Historian Michael König was the first to bring out the symbolic issue, stating that the kits’ design was “very questionable”.

In 1929, the SS rune was created specifically for use by Nazi forces. The SS included both Gestapo agents and guards for concentration camps. Managing the death camps where millions of Jews and other people were executed was one of the SS’s responsibilities.

Oliver Brüggen, a representative for Adidas, refuted claims that the uniform intentionally bore similarities to Nazi insignia. Adidas informed the BBC separately that the numbers on the shirts were created in collaboration with the German Football Association (DFB) and its partners.

The DFB stated in a tweet on Twitter/X that “none of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism” and that the shirt designs had been submitted to UEFA for assessment during the design process. They also mentioned that a different design would be created for the number 4.

The away color of the same uniform, bright pink, has caused more controversy. Some argue that it is unconventional and was just implemented to generate funds for the DFB.

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