German soccer jersey to be redesigned over allegations it resembles Nazi symbol


April 2 (UPI) -- A soccer jersey in Germany showing the number 44 is being redesigned over allegations that it resembles a Nazi symbol.

A spokesperson for Adidas -- the company making the jerseys -- said they stopped buyers from being able to design them on their online store.

It is alleged the design looks like the "SS" Nazi military group symbol that is banned in Germany.

"Any attempts to promote divisive or exclusionary views are not part of our values as a brand," an Adidas company official told NBC News.

Soccer officials in Germany and 11teamsports -- a business partner -- were the responsible parties in creating the design.

A political science professor at University of the Bundeswehr in Munich called the SS an "instrument of oppression" during the rise of Hitler and the Holocaust and said that people today began to notice similarities between the two designs.

On social media, Germany's Football Association -- the DFB -- said it had submitted the design for review to the governing authority for European soccer - - the UEFA - - and failed to find "any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the creation process of the jersey design."

The DFB recently switched from Adidas to Nike in a deal DFB said is for a better financial arrangement for the sporting association.

Officials at DFB added that "we take the information very seriously and do not want to provide a platform for discussions."

"As a company we actively oppose xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence and hatred in any form," Adidas had said.