A row has erupted over a German football team changing its supplier from Adidas to Nike

  • Written by Tom Espiner
  • Business correspondent, BBC News

Image source, Getty Images

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Adidas has supplied the German national team with the jersey for over 70 years

The German Football Association's decision to replace the company that supplies the national team's clothing with Adidas has sparked strong criticism from politicians.

The contract will transfer from the German company to the American company Nike starting in 2027.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck said he would have “preferred more local patriotism”, while Health Minister Karl Lauterbach called the decision “wrong”.

The German Football Association said the deal made financial sense and would support German football at the grassroots level.

Adidas has supplied the German national football team with the jersey for over 70 years.

However, according to reports in the German press, Nike has agreed to pay around €100m (£86m; $108m) a year to supply the group, doubling the €50m Adidas is paying.

The deal, announced on Thursday, was met with dismay by German politicians on the left and right.

“I can't imagine the German shirt without the three stripes,” Habeck said. “For me, Adidas and black, red and gold have always belonged together. They are part of the German identity.”

Prime Minister of Bavaria Marcus Soeder said The national team always plays with the Adidas three stripes. “It was as clear as the fact that the ball was round and that the match lasted 90 minutes,” he said.

“The success story began in 1954 with our unforgettable World Cup win, which gave our country self-confidence again. That is why it is wrong, shameful and also incomprehensible for this story to end now.”

He said German football should not be a “pawn in international corporate battles” and that “business is not everything.”

The German Football Association said on X She understands the emotional reaction to her decision, saying changing supplier after 70 years was a “radical event” that “doesn’t leave us cold”.

However, the DFB said that the grassroots of German football, which includes “more than 24,000 football clubs, 2.2 million active players, many volunteers and around 55,000 referees”, is funded by the DFB. .

He added: “Against this background, the German Football Association must make economic decisions.” “Nike submitted its best financial bid ever in a transparent, non-discriminatory bidding process.”

He added: “The future partnership with Nike ensures that we can continue to carry out our core football missions into the next decade.”

The announcement of the Nike deal comes a few months before Euro 2024. The German men's team is using Adidas' headquarters in Herzogenaurach, near Nuremberg, as a base for the tournament, which Germany is hosting.

Adidas said it would not comment on the details of the contract.

The dispute over the German kit comes at a time when politicians in England are criticizing Nike's design of the England national team kit.

The FA defended the design, saying “it is not the first time” that different colors have been used.

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