‘Why does Germany wear a green away soccer jersey?,’ is a common question asked especially when Die Manschaft unveil the look.
A good question since the German flag which the home jersey as well as most other colors used on the away jersey is the basis for the look.
Unlike many of the incorrect legends around the green, the answer is pretty simple and is inspired by the heart of German football.
The green comes from the official Deutscher Fussball-Bund (DFB), the German Football Association, crest. The DFB crest is green and white. And was on the minds of DFB officials as it had been updated after the war to remove the nationalist colors of black/red/gold from the flag. Green and white was selected for the color of the field and line markings.
The green jersey was first used after World War II.
The timing was the reason for some of the legends.
The most popular legend claims West Germany adopted green because Ireland was the first nation to agree to play them after the war and so they adopted the colors of the Irish.
A great story but not true.
Ireland was the 4th team to face West Germany post war. And Die Mannshaft pulled on a green jersey against Turkey in one of the prior matches.
Ironically, all 3 opponents West Germany faced before meeting Ireland in Dublin use red as their primary or secondary jersey color. West Germany played Switzerland (twice), Austria, and Turkey.
If West Germany wanted to make a tribute they could have stuck with red which was sometimes used for the away color prior to the war.
The second common story is that West Germany adopted green to help fans watching on black-and-white television.
This has more merit but doesn’t stand up either.
The 1954 FIFA World Cup was the first to have some matches televised. And television did bring about the necessity for teams to have secondary colors.
It is NOT why West Germany chose to don a green away soccer shirt. German could, after all, have just as easily worn a red or other dark color to distinguish between teams.