Nike Germany deal: Adidas kit switch ‘destroys a tradition’, says minister

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The German Football Association’s (DFB) decision to end Adidas’ role as kit supplier for the national team after more than 70 years has been criticised by some of the country’s leading politicians.

Nike will take over from Adidas in 2027, with media reports in Germany claiming the manufacturer has doubled Adidas’ fee by paying around £86 million to provide the kits.

Writing on X – formerly Twitter – via BBC news, health minister Karl Lauterbach called the move “a wrong decision where commerce destroys a tradition and a piece of home”.

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Economy minister Robert Habeck suggested the German company should have been chosen by calling for “a bit more local patriotism”.

“I can hardly imagine the German jersey without the three stripes,” he said. “For me, Adidas and black-red-gold always belonged together. A piece of German identity.”

The DFB said the financial backing provided by the agreement would support grassroots domestic football, but Bavarian premier Markus Soeder called the necessity of the national team appearing in Adidas’ three stripes “as clear as the fact that the ball is round and a game lasts 90 minutes”.

“The success story began in 1954 with the unforgettable World Cup victory, which gave our country self-confidence again,” he added.

“That’s why it’s wrong, a shame and also incomprehensible that this story should end now.”

Nike ‘made best offer’ to Germany

Writing on social media, the DFB called the switch a “drastic event” and said it had to “make economic decisions” in the best interests of more than 24,000 football clubs, 2.2 million players, volunteers and almost 55,000 referees.

“Nike made by far the best financial offer in the transparent and non-discriminatory tender process,” it explained.

“The future partnership with Nike ensures that we can continue to carry out our central tasks for football in the coming decade.”

Uefa Euro 2024 hosts Germany will be based at Adidas’ headquarters near Nuremberg for the tournament, which starts in June.

Adidas told BBC News that it would not comment on contractual details.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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