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Greek player banned for life for Nazi salute

Giorgos Katidis booted from Greek national soccer team after making gesture to celebrate goal

Giorgos Katidis salutes (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
Giorgos Katidis salutes (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis has been banned from his national team for life after giving a Nazi salute while celebrating a goal in the top-flight league.

Greece’s soccer federation said Sunday in a statement that the AEK Athens midfielder’s gesture “is a deep insult to all victims of Nazi brutality.”

The 20-year-old Katidis gave a Nazi salute after scoring the go-ahead goal Saturday in AEK’s 2-1 victory over Veria in the Greek league. He pleaded ignorance of the meaning of his gesture — right arm extended and hand straightened. He claimed on his Twitter account that he detests fascism.

AEK and the Greek league are considering separate sanctions. AEK fans have demanded Katidis’s dismissal from the team.

AEK’s German coach, Ewald Lienen, said the player doesn’t have an “idea about politics.”

Katidis has played for Greek national junior teams but not the senior side.

 

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