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Greece Bans Footballer Giorgios Katidis for Life After Nazi Salute: VIDEO


Giorgios Katidis, a Greek footballer who gave a Nazi salute after making a game-winning goal over the weekend has been banned for life from representing Greece in the game, the NYT reports:

The Hellenic Football Federation met Sunday in response to the incident and decided to ban the player, who has previously captained the national team in youth competitions. “The player’s action to salute to spectators in a Nazi manner is a severe provocation, insults all the victims of Nazi barbarity and injures the deeply pacifist and human character of the game,” the federation said as Greece marked the 70th anniversary of the deportation of thousands of Greek Jews to Nazi death camps.

Reuters adds:

The 20-year-old, a former captain of Greece's Under-19 team, made the gesture in celebrating his winning goal in a 2-1 Super League victory over lowly Veria on Saturday. Katidis apologized and asked to be dropped from AEK's first team.

"I would like to confess that I am totally unacceptable and I feel terrible for those I upset with the stupidity of my act," Katidis said in a statement. "I made the mistake so I will be the one to pay for it, AEK is not responsible. So that is why I have decided to put myself out of the team because I have now realized how much I have offended the history of the club. Also, I understand fully the reasons for the decision made by the Greek Football Federation to which I owe a huge apology as it has helped me to get where I am in the professional game."

Katidis reiterated that he was not a fascist or racist.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Then is he just stupid? I cant imagine how you might think that the nazi salute might be a great way to celebrate a goal. Especially anywhere in Europe.

    Posted by: Jerry | Mar 18, 2013 1:07:57 PM

  2. I guess he doesn't know much about is own country's history. The occupation of Greece by the Italian Fascists and German Nazis wasn't pleasant. He has that whole cute bad boy look going for him but sadly with very little brains. What a dumbazz.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Mar 18, 2013 1:17:27 PM

  3. @Jerry,

    Yes it was of course obnoxious. And that wasn't just a casual salute. But as for Europe, right now there's a lot of simmering anger and hostility over the economy, what they consider out of control illegal and legal immigration [pales by comparison to the U.S.], crime, and so-on. A significant number of especially young men look favorably on 'fascism' and extreme right wing ideology.

    Some posters may counter or refute what I just said, but it's true. It can be very hard to gauge true feelings on sensitive subjects in Europe because of the extreme level of political correctness and laws against what we in America would consider free speech and free association. It's like prohibition of drugs or alcohol, it doesn't make the issue disappear, it simply puts it in the shadows.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 18, 2013 1:25:28 PM

  4. I guess it is possible, but not all that plausible, that he didn't know what his arm gesture meant - maybe he spent most of his time training, slept through his history classes, and didn't have much spare time to watch TV or old movies. If so, unlikely though that may be, he could have just been raising his arm to show off his tattoos.

    That's another reason to ban him - his tattoos are really ugly. He should wear a burka!

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 18, 2013 2:06:12 PM

  5. Just looked at the video - I'm not convinced it was meant as a "nazi salute", mainly because he was running and usually salutes are given while standing in one spot. He might have been moving his fingers, sort of waving, but he quickly got surrounded by teammates and it isn't clear if his hand motion was voluntary - the result of being jostled by his teammates. It happened rather quickly.

    You'd get quite a different impression when looking at the image rather than the video.

    Was he running towards someone he knew (girlfriend / boyfriend / mother) who was watching the game and trying to get that person's attention?

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 18, 2013 2:18:53 PM

  6. He's part of the first generation that doesn't remember the Greek civil war.

    Posted by: anon | Mar 18, 2013 2:41:47 PM

  7. It didn't look like much of a Nazi salute to me, either, though maybe from a different angle it was clearer. But Katidis admission that what he did was wrong seems to suggest that it was intentional, not merely trying to get someone's attention. Whether or not he fully understands the implications of what he did I'm not sure.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Mar 18, 2013 2:47:57 PM

  8. "stupid is as stupid does"... forest gump

    Posted by: steve | Mar 18, 2013 2:54:29 PM

  9. Well, there are countries were are a favourable climate to this kind of behaviour, and Greece is one of them.
    And of course, there are the radical hooligans of the clubs that generally are linked to neonazi movements, and the clubs prefere to ignore (till something bad happens)

    Posted by: jjose712 | Mar 18, 2013 3:24:40 PM

  10. You can blame Golden Dawn political party for the rather poisonous atmosphere that results in such public/publicity stunts. Katidis may be naive, but he certainly knows about Golden Dawn and their nazi affiliations/anti immigrant attitudes. Greece btw bends strongly anti-American these days, according to recent polling.

    Posted by: Joseph | Mar 18, 2013 4:04:03 PM

  11. A stopped clock is right twice a day... ratbastard actually was right on this one. Greece has a rising right-wing extreme in that country that is a form of fascism, and has actually won seats in that country's parliament.

    The last time there was any references to that on Towleroad, I believe it was from a video of one of that fascist party's spokespeople on a Greek national tv program flipping out and attacking a woman on the same political panel of said show....

    They're nuts, and like the nuts of the past, gain power in the extremes of the situation Greece is going through. I'm not surprised that the mainstream would react to this player's horrifically stupid decision and give a lifetime ban. It's a way of scciety to nip the extremely dangerous fascist wing of that country in the bud. As bad as I feel giving anyone a lifetime ban over one stupid in-the-moment decision, I can understand why it was done.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 18, 2013 4:44:40 PM

  12. What's scary as a European (Irish) is how little attention Europe and the World is paying to the rise of the far right in Greece and other nations (thankfully not yet on our island). People's living standards have been destroyed by grinding austerity and it seems that the vile far right are intent on capitalising on their desperation. For me this is the biggest problem Europe faces and perhaps one that never went away. Ordinary people in Greece/Spain/Italy etc have to be given a sense of hope again, that they and their children will be able to enjoy some standard of living, now and into the future, or the strains of this crazy austerity experiment are going to destroy civil society. It's utterly bizzare that any Greek would support poisonous neo-nazi politics after what that country went through during and after WW2

    Posted by: Kevin | Mar 18, 2013 8:02:21 PM

  13. @Joseph,

    Greece has been anti-American for a long time. The leftist hate America because of the Greek military junta that was supported by Washington [in fairness to Washington, Greece would have gone communist if the military hadn't taken over]. The right is also anti-American. Greece is one of those countries with a lot of extremist politics...far left and far right, similar traditionally to many Latin countries in South America and Europe. Greek people in general are cool people based on the many I've known and know, but desperate people are capable of doing unpleasant things.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 18, 2013 10:47:54 PM

  14. I don't know if he is a racist but he certainly is as dumb as a brick!

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 18, 2013 11:03:38 PM

  15. @MichaelJ: saying what he did was "wrong" does not mean he did it intentionally.

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 18, 2013 11:53:34 PM

  16. So wait, did he do it or not? Did he mean to do a nazi salute? If he was just making a gesture that was interpreted that way...

    Seems like a fairly specific thing to want to do.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 19, 2013 1:01:01 PM

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