Former Greek finance minister and leader of the MeRA25 party, Yanis Varoufakis, has called for the withdrawal of the new Greek national team’s jersey due to a blue cross that resembles a swastika. The jersey was presented on Monday (20/03) with the slogan “All Greece in one jersey”, but Varoufakis saw the symbol as “another dangerous, vulgar and unacceptable act of extremism”.

MeRA25’s announcement stated that the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF) and its president, Taki Baltako, were to blame for the design of the jersey. Varoufakis further criticised the government, accusing them of bringing “extreme anti-democratic, dangerous amendments supposedly to exclude the presence of Nazis in Parliament, and on the other hand, it does everything to normalize them in society”.

The controversy has sparked a heated debate on social media. Some have dismissed the claims as an exaggeration, while others have agreed with Varoufakis and called for the withdrawal of the jersey. Many have also expressed disappointment with the HFF’s decision to include the blue cross on the jersey.

Varoufakis’ party, MeRA25 was formed after he left Syriza and is contesting in the up-coming Greek national elections. The former finance minister is well known internationally as a progressive who tried to combat austerity policies during the Greek Financial Crisis of 2012-2016. Varoufakis himself has been a vocal critic of the European Union and has advocated for radical changes to the economic system.

The controversy surrounding the national team’s jersey may intensify as some see the blue cross as a harmless design element, while others view it as a troubling symbol which harks back to the Nazi occupation of Greece and the rise of the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party during the financial crisis.

The debate over the jersey is likely to continue.