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German football authorities’ decision to drop Adidas as its kit supplier has sparked discontent in the government on Friday, with the Economy Minister blasting the switch to US sportswear giant Nike as a lack of “patriotism”.

“I can hardly imagine the Germany shirt without the three stripes,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement to AFP.

 “For me, Adidas and black-red-gold always belonged together,” Habeck said, describing the pairing as a “piece of German identity”.

With the homegrown sportswear brand and the economy both experiencing tough times, Habeck said he “would have hoped for more patriotism” from the German Football Association (DFB).

The DFB on Thursday said it would end its decades-long partnership with Adidas, selecting Nike as its new supplier from 2027.

German national teams have worn Adidas gear since the 1950s, with the partnership becoming synonymous with the success on the pitch.

The deal with Nike was “by far the best financial offer” on the table, DFB CEO Holger Blask said in a statement.

The collaboration between Adidas and the German national football team goes all the way back to the 1950s and the team’s first World Cup success.

The switch from Adidas was the “wrong decision”, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on X, formerly Twitter.

The move saw “commerce destroy a tradition and a piece of home”, Lauterbach said.

Nike also made a “clear commitment to the promotion of amateur sport, as well as the sustainable development of women’s football in Germany”, DFP CEO Blask said.

The timing of the announcement, just months ahead of the start of the Euro 2024 championships in Germany, was wholly “usual”, Blask said.

The kit change will come as a bitter blow to Adidas, which has faced mounting difficulties of late.

“We were informed by the DFB today that the association will have a new supplier from 2027,” the German sportswear group said in a statement.

Fans and Adidas workers alike are expressing shock over the news on social media.

 “Adidas” climbed to the top of trending topics on social media platform X shortly after the deal was announced, showing how shocking the news is for German football fans. At time of writing, both “Adidas” and then “Nike” are the 2nd and 3rd top trends respectively.

The DFB would “do everything for joint success” with its long-time partner Adidas before the end of the year, DFB president Bernd Neuendorf added in the statement.

The German men’s team under the guidance of coach Julian Nagelsmann will set up base for the tournament at the training complex next to Adidas’s home in Herzogenaurach, in Bavaria.

The men will wear Adidas gear again at the 2026 World Cup, being hosted jointly by the United States, Mexico and Canada, before switching to Nike.

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