Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis has been banned for life for giving a Nazi salute after scoring a goal on Saturday.
Katidis was banned from playing on a Greek National Team by the Greece soccer federation EPO.
According to the ABC, Katidis, 20, gave the Nazi salute after scoring during AEK’s 2-1 victory over Veria in the Greek league.
The Greece soccer federation released a statement today saying that Katidis’ gesture was “is a deep insult to all victims of Nazi brutality.”
EPO, the Greek soccer federation, said in a statement: “The player’s action to salute to spectators in a Nazi manner is a severe provocation, insults all the victims of Nazi bestiality and injures the deeply pacifist and human character of the game.”
Katidis is hoping to have the ban overturned. The soccer player, who will meet with team officials this week to discus the incident, wrote on Twitter that he did not mean to give the Nazi salute. Katidis said that he was pointing to a friend in the stands and did not realize that he was making an offensive gesture.
Katidis said, “I despise fascism…. I would not have done it if I knew what something like this meant,” Katidis wrote. “I know what the consequences are and I would never have done it.”
Here’s a video of the controversial celebration.
Do you believe Katidis? Was this an accidental Nazi salute?
EK Athens coach Ewald Lienen stuck up for his player saying that the 20-year old “hasn’t got a clue about politics.”