AMSTERDAM – Sales of orange replica Nazi helmets aimed at Dutch football fans attending the World Cup have trebled since they were banned from Dutch stadiums this month, the helmet‘s producer said on Friday.
Football‘s governing body in the Netherlands, the KNVB, banned the helmets ahead of a Dutch friendly against Ecuador in Amsterdam earlier this month, saying they were offensive.
The ban applies to all other home games for the national team although the KNVB has no power to ban them in Germany.
“We are now selling three times the previous average daily volume,” said the helmet‘s producer Florian van Laar. “We are thinking of sending the KNVB a gold helmet in thanks,” he added.
His firm sells around 5,000 to 7,000 orange helmets per week and has added helmets in the national colours of Australia, England, Germany, France and Italy to its range.
But the KNVB is not amused.
“We don‘t see the joke in wearing these helmets and think they are in bad taste,” said KNVB spokesman Frank Huizinga. “A lot is possible in Holland, but we will not accept everything.”
Germany has launched a campaign ahead of its hosting of the World Cup, marketing itself as a vibrant nation of composers, poets, philosophers and inventors. But it faces trouble from an unruly minority of foreign fans obsessed with Nazi-era images.