Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis has been slapped with a lifetime national team ban after celebrating a goal for AEK Athens by giving a Nazi salute.
Calling Katidis’ actions a “deep insult to all victims of Nazi brutality,” Greece’s soccer federation put an immediate end to the player’s international career, The Associated Press reported.
Images of Katidis – right arm fully extended with palm upwards – making the hateful gesture after netting his team’s 2-1 winner against Veria quickly went viral on Saturday – the same day Greece marked the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the deportation of its country’s Jews to Nazi extermination camps during World War II.
“He is a young kid who does not have any political ideas. He most likely saw such a salute on the Internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means,” the German manager said, according to The Daily Mail.
Fans of AEK Athens have been less supportive than Lienen and are calling for the club to give Katidis his outright dismissal. Team officials are expected to decide his fate in the upcoming days.0