Sporting goods manufacturer Adidas and the German Football Association have responded to criticism of the design of a number of the national team’s new jersey and adjusted sales accordingly. The number 44 on the back is reminiscent of the runes of the Schutzstaffel SS from the National Socialist era. It was no longer possible to personalize the jerseys with your own name and number in the Adidas store on Monday afternoon, and the DFB stopped the delivery of ordered combinations with the 44 in its own online shop.

A journalist on X and then also “Bild” had previously reported on the Adidas plans. The combination was noticed on social media and many people took part in the discussion. “The DFB and its partner 11teamsports are responsible for the design of the names and numbers,” said Adidas spokesman Oliver Brüggen when asked by the German Press Agency.

Certain names with a connection to National Socialism could not be ordered from Adidas and the DFB. “This does not meet our personalization guidelines. Please try something else,” appeared as a note at Adidas when making a corresponding selection.

According to the association, an alternative design for the number 4 will now be developed together with 11teamsports. The DFB confirmed a corresponding report from “Bild” and pointed out that it was checking the numbers 0 to 9, and then submitting the numbers 1 to 26 to the European Football Union UEFA for checking. There were no complaints in either test.

“People from around 100 nations work at Adidas, our company stands for the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and as a company we actively campaign against xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence and hatred in all forms,” said Brüggen. “Any attempts to promote divisive or exclusionary views are not part of our values ​​as a brand.” The company “strongly rejects any suggestions that this was our intention.”

The new jersey was presented shortly before the two international matches in France (2:0) and against the Netherlands (2:1). The campaign was accompanied by commercials that received a very positive response.