Ahead of the Germany-hosted Euros 2024, Adidas stopped sales of Germany’s number 44 kit due to apparent Nazi links. The #44 jersey bore resemblances to the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS). The SS committed several genocidal deaths during the Holocaust and WWII. Adidas’ #4 jersey will also get a redesign.

“We will block the personalization of the jerseys in our online store,” Adidas spokesman Oliver Brüggen told media. This would include not being able to put one’s name or number on the jersey.

The DFB, Germany’s ruling soccer body, stopped the delivery of jerseys with the number 44. They also announced they would design a new #4 and double-check numbers zero through nine.

“People from around 100 nations work at Adidas. Our company stands for the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and as a company we actively oppose xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence and hatred in any form,” Brüggen said.

Although Adidas attracted heavy criticism, spokespeople from the sportswear company said that the DFB and 11teamsports were responsible for design of names and numbers.

Adidas’ rift with Germany deepens

Germany, Adidas’ home country and their biggest source of pride, recently decided to switch from Adidas to Nike from 2027 onwards. With the decision, they ended four World Cups, three Euros, and countless iconic moments.

Sources state Nike offered Germany a nearly $108-million contract per year to don the Swoosh, over two times the amount Adidas offered. Representatives at both Nike and Adidas were shocked by the deal — Adidas did not anticipate any competition and Nike was surprised that the DFB would turn its back on history.

A huge reason why Germany took the big deal was because of France’s expiring contract with Nike, which could make Nike’s deal cheaper.

“Nike made, by far, the best financial offer. We were additionally impressed with the content of their vision, which also included a clear commitment to supporting amateur and grassroots sport, as well as the sustainable development of women’s football in Germany,” DFB president Bernd Neuendorf wrote in a statement.

With neither party taking any responsibility for the mishap, it shows a lack of communication and connection between Germany and Adidas. It seems both will have to face their problems alone.

Euro 2024 looks promising for Germany

By the time Euro 2024 rolls around, Adidas will have fixed the error and Germany will be training in their Herzogenaurach team camp. Die Mannschaft has some challenging fixtures ahead, with matches against Scotland, Switzerland, and Hungary waiting.

However, Germany looks exciting to watch ahead of the tournament. A 2-0 win over France and a 2-1 win over the Netherlands show Germany is well behind their early exit at the World Cup. This team has not come to mess around.

“We have a great coach, we have great players. I am seriously optimistic that backed by the fans we can achieve something at this tournament. At least the semi-finals,” Neuendorf told media.

Stadiums in Berlin, Munich, Dortmund, Stuttgart, and more will host over 51 games. The ten venues cover all the main regions of Germany and all boast over 40,000 seats.

Photo: Adidas.