The deci­sion was made in order to com­bat xeno­pho­bia, but to many it seems absurd.

Foot­ballers in the Ital­ian Cham­pi­onship were banned from play­ing with num­ber 88. The restric­tion will come into effect from next sea­son, writes La Gazzetta del­lo Sport.

Why did the authorities ban number 88?

The num­ber 88 in rad­i­cal nation­al­ist cir­cles may rep­re­sent a cod­ed Nazi salute, “Heil Hitler,” since both words in Ger­man begin with the let­ter H.

The restric­tions are being intro­duced as part of the Ital­ian gov­ern­men­t’s fight against anti-Semi­tism. The new rules pro­hib­it any sym­bols asso­ci­at­ed with Nazism, as well as dis­crim­i­na­to­ry speech at pub­lic events.

Seydou Doumbia played in the Italian

Last sea­son, four play­ers wore num­ber 88 in Italy’s top foot­ball league, Serie A: Mateus Praše­lik (Hel­las Verona), Toma Rincón (Sam­p­do­ria), Toma Bašić (Lazio) and Mario Pasal­ic (Ata­lan­ta). .

Why do players take number 88?

When leg­endary goal­keep­er Gian­lui­gi Buf­fon was young, he chose 88 — the num­ber remind­ed him of four goals. This hap­pened before the start of the 00/01 sea­son and caused a scan­dal, so Buf­fon refused the num­ber.

Buffon number 88

“I chose 88 because it reminds me of four balls. In Italy we know that hav­ing balls is syn­ony­mous with strength and deter­mi­na­tion. Did­n’t know the hid­den mean­ing of 88. All this Nazi dirt hurts me. “I’m ready to change my num­ber if it helps,” Buf­fon said.

For­mer Liv­er­pool goal­keep­er Simon Migno­let also chose num­ber 88 when he moved to Club Brugge. The arith­metic is sim­ple — you need to mul­ti­ply the num­bers: Migno­let used to play under 22, and Brugge became his fourth club — after Sint-Tru­iden, Sun­der­land and Liv­er­pool. More­over, he was born in 1988.

Mignolet was born in 1988

How are numbers distributed in football?

Ini­tial­ly, 11 num­bers appeared in foot­ball, which were dis­trib­uted by posi­tion. Some tra­di­tions remain: goal­keep­ers often wear num­ber 1, cen­ter for­wards wear num­ber 9, and team lead­ers and play­mak­ers wear num­ber 10.

But there is no strict bind­ing — play­ers choose num­bers vol­un­tar­i­ly. It all depends on the pref­er­ences of the play­er and whether the room is avail­able.

Denis Glushakov plays under the number eight, if busy - under the 88th

There­fore, those who play under num­ber 88 are most often far from Nazism. Some­one played all his life under the “eight”, which turned out to be occu­pied by a new club. And some peo­ple just like the com­bi­na­tion of num­bers — ath­letes are often super­sti­tious.

Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic recent­ly played the last match of his career. He played for Milan wear­ing num­ber 11. When he was busy, Zla­tan chose num­ber 21 — foot­ballers treat num­bers more sim­ply than offi­cials.