Footballers in Italy are BANNED from wearing the No.88 shirt and here’s why.
Serie A stopped players from sporting the No.88 shirt from the start of the 2023/24 season as part of a campaign to fight anti-Semitism.
It’s part of a declaration to combat anti-Semitism across the country, with the number used by neo-Nazis to symbolise ‘Heil Hilter’.
‘H’ is the eighth letter in the alphabet and marks the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute.
As a result of the rule change in Serie A, Basic was handed the No.26 shirt while Pasalic now dons the No.8 jersey.
The decision to ban the No.88 shirt was confirmed in June by FIGC (Italian FA) president Gabriele Gravina, who spoke of the united front to combat anti-Semitism.
“The world of football is united in the fight against antisemitism and all forms of discrimination,” said Gravina.
“With this declaration of intent, we reiterate once again that our sport must be increasingly inclusive and, at the same time, an extraordinary vehicle for positive messages.
“Thanks to its deepest values and its exceptional communicative power, football offers itself as an instrument of civic conscience to educate in acceptance and respect. On these issues, we do not back down an inch, because the credibility of football, which is also hurt and damaged by discriminatory behaviour, has a direct impact on Italian society.”
Italian officials signed a declaration of intent for the fight against anti-Semitism, which included several actions to combat racism following the issues last season.