Adidas and Germany to alter the number 44 on the national team's jersey because the design resembles the SS symbol

The sports equipment company and the German soccer federation made this decision after a wave of criticism.

Days after it was learned that Germany and Adidas confirmed their split beginning in 2027, the duo is once again in the news, this time for a very different issue. The sponsor decided to remove the number 44 jersey that the German national team (DFB) will wear at UEFA Euro 2024 because the design of the numbers resembles the symbol of the SS, the Nazi secret police.

The decision comes after a wave of criticism over the resemblance between the number 44 and the SS emblem, despite both Adidas and the DFB denying any connection. "None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the development process of the shirt design," the German national team said in statements reported by The Independent.

Adidas also distanced itself from any intentional decision regarding the design of the number, claiming that they "actively" defend the fight against xenophobia, antisemitism and other types of hatred. "People from around 100 countries work at Adidas. Our company stands for the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and as a company we actively campaign against xenophobia, antisemitism, violence and hatred in all forms. Any attempts to promote divisive or exclusionary views are not part of our values as a brand," said company spokesperson Oliver Bruggen.

Germany will be the host country of UEFA Euro 2024, which will be played between June 14 and July 14, after beating out the other aspiring nation, Turkey, and achieving the greatest number of votes in the bid held by UEFA in 2018.