Posted March 17, 2013

Greek soccer player gets lifetime ban for Nazi salute after goal

Soccer

Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis has been banned from the country’s national team for life after celebrating a game-winning goal by making an apparent Nazi salute.

Katidis, a 20-year-old midfielder for AEK Athens, gave his team a 2-1 lead late in Saturday’s Greek soccer league game. He then sprinted to the right corner, pulled off his shirt and raised his right arm diagonally in the air with his palm facing the ground — a widely known sign for “Heil Hitler.”

Katidis, a Thessaloniki, Greece native, apologized on TV and denied that he was making the Nazi salute on Twitter, claiming that he was pointing to an injured teammate in the crowd. He wrote, according to the New York Daily News, “I am not racist in any way. I abhor fascism. I would not have done it if I knew that it meant something. I know the consequences and would not do it ever.”

The Hellenic Football Federation voted unanimously to exclude him from all national teams, calling his actions a “deep insult to all victims of Nazi brutality,” the Associated Press reported. He had previously played on Greek junior national teams.

AEK fans also issued a statement demanding Katidis’ release from the team, which could be penalized for the incident.

The act came on the day that Greece marked the 70th anniversary of beginning the deportation of its Jews to Nazi extermination camps during World War II.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “AEK Coach Ewald Lienen, who is from Germany, said after the game that Katidis doesn’t have an ‘idea about politics.’”


25 comments
browneylicious
browneylicious

watchihg the video again one gets the impression he knew exactly what he was doing. it was like a salute to the crowd

browneylicious
browneylicious

Honestly I don't know what to think of d kid's act. Am Nigerian and I know about the Holocaust how much more a Greek Citizen. being 20 is no defence yea. but am also an advocate of mercy. in this day and age I don't believe hte Holocaust can repeat itself. I hate the use of hte H word itself. its so sad what he did but because he is so young and stupid I just feel a lesser punishment shd be given

Matt32
Matt32

Come on.  Are you people serious?  In what universe do people point like that?  And of course he's going to deny it because nobody thought it was funny, ironic, or anything else but distasteful.

 

To argue that he doesn't know what a Nazi salute looks like is ridiculous.  He grew up in a country that was once occupied by Nazis and, even if you thought it wasn't relevant, Tiffany's informational post also makes it pretty obvious that there is a Neo-Nazi movement alive and well in Greece these days.

 

So please.  Don't defend his idiotic actions.

 

ConorFay
ConorFay

Tiffany, so you got all this from some Greek kid putting his arm out?  Why not blame him for the financial crisis in Greece, WWII, and the decline of Western Civilization?  Get serious.  He stuck his arm out.  He didn't say anything pro-Nazi or wear a SS arm band.  I stand by my statement.  He's a kid and had no bad intentions.  Don't put  the weight of Greece's problems on his back.  What the gangs and rotten teens in this country are doing is far worse and no one is rushing them to the electric chair.  To err is human, to forgive, divine.

Doc Holiday
Doc Holiday

The Jews should be worried about Odummer selling them down the river---not a silly salute---if it was such.

ConorFay
ConorFay

Who the hell really knows what he meant?  Another case of over-reaction.  I doubt he had the Nazis on his mind and is undeserving of this knee-jerk reaction.  No one of sound mind would glorify the hateful Nazis.  Give this kid a break and a chance to have his say.  Then believe him.

Staz
Staz

The headline is a bit deceiving. He can still play professionally but he won't be allowed to represent Greece.

mikalrod
mikalrod

He did it on the 70th anniversary...he thought he was being cute and clever.

ΧριστόφοροςΡίχτερ
ΧριστόφοροςΡίχτερ

Obviously my fellow countrymen in Hellenic Football Assosiation haven't done their Shakespeare.. They all ignore the "quality of mercy".

BrianSwiss
BrianSwiss

I do not condone what he did.  Any reference to that period of time in a negative manner is horrible, but let's think this  through.  This kid was born in 1993.  I am not convinced he understood the ramifications of that symbol for hate.  I applaud the  Greek government for handing down a swift penalty, but a lifetime band seems rather excessive.  At 20 years old he should be given the opportunity to publically apologize, take a penalty such as a one year ban from all play and then come back.  His German coach even stated that he does not understand politics.  Tolerance is something that we need to preach on both sides.  Again, what he did was awful, but did he truly understand what he did? I do not think so. 

 

One question I do not know, does he have a history of bad behavior? 

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

So who points at someone without actually extending a finger, not to mention while clearly looking somewhere other than the direction of his pointed arm?  Fake excuse is fake.

JanosSImon
JanosSImon

By "you people" you mean which group of folks massacred and tortured by the Nazis? Jews, Roma, Greek patriots, Serbians, or gays? 

 

And about thought police, can one demand things of people who are chosen for the team that represents the country? 

WhiskeyMan
WhiskeyMan

You people need to get over what happened many years ago , Some people just can't seem to let or won't,    Every nation has had their Holocaust in one way or another ,,,,    Yes things happen , Get over it, Move on,,,        This is "SPORTS"

EPLfan
EPLfan

And the thought police strike again -- we keep seeing athletes who express their opinions being penalized by the governing associations.  Like their opinions or not, this is not liberty.

TiffanySuydam
TiffanySuydam

 @ConorFay Eh, big problem though: Greece is experiencing a massive upsurge in right-wing fascists via the "Golden Dawn Party" which has it's support base in Athens.  They are actively mimicking much of the nazi tactics in political spheres and youth recruitment.  The english-speaking news isn't reporting the half of it, because it's so darn scary what's going on.  Beyond that, Greece really did suffer some massive repercussions from the nazi occupation.  Take a look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_occupation_of_Greece#Economic_exploitation_and_the_Great_FamineSo, a 20 year old not knowing this seems pretty unlikely.  It's almost akin to saying that a polish kid would know nothing about nazism, after the massive scale of murder, conquest, and exploitation the third reich did.  Beyond that, there's a much higher chance that he is connected to fascists than mentioned in this article, primarily because of the Golden Dawn movement.

veryphil
veryphil

 @ConorFay Agreed.  There is no way he was making a political statement.  And if he thought he was, he simply needs a good talking to, because he obviously had no idea what he was saying.  He's 20.  People do stupid things at that age.  Total overreaction.

LukeBrimmings
LukeBrimmings

 @ConorFay

 Agreed. It was a stupid thing to do, but without any other evidence of him being a "Nazi" it's really hard to believe that was the first thing on his mind after a goal. This is a sport in which I remember women rip their shirts off (remember Brandy Chastain?) in jubilee. A 20 yr old messed up in the same moment. Punish him to some level I guess if you think it's necessary, but a lifetime ban for an arm motion is far more fascist than anything he did.

bseroius
bseroius

 @Staz Agreed, it implies a lifetime ban from professional soccer, which seemed way over the top for what he did.  On the other hand, how good is he? Is he good enough to make play for the national team, or is the lifetime from the national team an actual punishment, or is it more of a show?

 

I also don't know the kid, or what it's like to live in Greece, but I wouldn't say it's impossible for a 20 year old here in the US to not know what that meant.  I have a 20 year old college player who literally doesn't know what continent Spain is on, and thought it might be in South America.

 

I guess if you have kids who say learning history is stupid, they'll never need to know this stuff, here's one nice example of how ignorance can really hurt you in life.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

 @mikalrod And he's anti-semetic, obviously.  Probably a lot of 20-somethings in Greece have various xenophobic beliefs.  Often happens whenever there's discontent in a society (and Greece's recent troubles are well publicized), and the people are eager to blame anyone but themselves, a general call-to-arms for 'Us vs Them' ideologies.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

 @BrianSwiss I really don't think him being born in 1993 is remotely relevant.  

 

I mean, are you seriously suggesting it should be a valid excuse for him if he's never cracked a history textbook in the whole of his life?  Because that's what it would take for him to 'not understand the ramifications'.

Matt32
Matt32

 @WhiskeyMan  Uh...no.  The Holocaust is not something anybody should ever get over.  The fact that much of the world sat by and watched as millions and millions of people were systematically murdered is a very important part of history.

 

You sound incredibly ignorant for even suggesting that we should get over the Holocaust.

 

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@WhiskeyMan

Yes, it's sports.  it should have nothing to do with politics.

 

Which is why when a player busts in and deliberately uses it to endorse an extremist political view himself, it's a problem.

 

Shouldn't have to explain this to you, pal.

 

Fifilo
Fifilo

 @WhiskeyMan The young neanderthal was banned for being stupid even by the low standards of his species. Get over it, move on.

 

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@EPLfan

So, according to you, if I'm a professional athlete and I want to proclaim, for example, my sexual love for 8 year old girls in the middle of a game, that shouldn't be punished by the 'thought police'?  It would just be my opinion, afterall.  I should have the 'liberty' to do that, no?

 

Of course, you don't agree with that.  Because pedophilia is a crime, right?   That crosses a line, obviously.  

 

And now you're saying, "but that's different from doing something like what this guy did".

 

But is it?

 

Nazi ideology endorses genocide.  KIND OF infamous for it, you may recall. And last time I checked, mass murder is a crime in most countries.

 

...

 

I shouldn't have to explain this to you, but you're obviously slow in the head, and need the help.  

 

Freedom of speech is nice and all, and this guy DOES apparently have it,  because he hasn't been tossed in jail, has he?  But that doesn't mean there aren't consequences that result from having certain extremist, INNATELY DESTRUCTIVE beliefs, and one of those consequences, is, naturally, the ridicule of other people that don't endorse such (idiotic) beliefs.  

 

And that's right and proper.  All there is to it.