German football to change controversial kit number

The German Football Association (DFB) said Monday it would change the typeface used on its shirts after one of the kit numbers drew comparisons to a Nazi symbol.

The number four worn by national team players was said to bear a resemblance to the insignia of the Nazis’ elite SS corps.

“The DFB checks the numbers 0-9 and then submits the numbers 1-26 to UEFA for review,” the football association said in a statement.

“None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the creation process,” the DFB said.

Nonetheless, the sporting body said it did not want to “provide a platform for discussion”.

“Together with our partner 11teamsports, we will develop an alternative design for the number four and coordinate it with UEFA,” the DFB said.

Kit provider Adidas removed shirt personalisation options for the German strip from its website on Monday afternoon, the German daily Bild reported.

The name and number personalisation features were not available when an AFP journalist visited the website on Monday evening.

Shirts with the number 44 were at the centre of the controversy, with the number set said to look most like the SS logo.

Deliveries of shirts already ordered with the number had been stopped, Bild reported.

The new typeset was worn in recent friendlies against France and the Netherlands, as Germany prepares to host the men’s European football championship in June and July.

The DFB caused a stir last month when it announced that it would be replacing Adidas as its kit provider from 2027.

The German outfitter, which has supplied the national team since the 1950s, will make way for US sportswear giant Nike.


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