Greek soccer player handed lifetime ban from national team after Nazi salute

Published On March 17, 2013 | By Jill Saftel

From a dance in the endzone to a slide from blue like to blue line, celebrations have their place in sports – just ask Nail Yakupov. But a celebration involving a Nazi salute? Not so much.

According to The Associated Press, Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis, 20, was handed a lifetime ban from the Greek national team after giving a Nazi salute while celebrating a goal.

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

Katidis gave the Nazi salute after scoring the go-ahead goal Saturday in AEK’s 2-1 victory over Veria in the Greek league.

He took to Twitter to claim he didn’t know the meaning behind his gesture and claimed he detests fascism. His right arm was completely elevated with hand straightened.

AEK and the Greek league are considering separate sanctions, but AEK fans have demanded Katidis’ dismissal from the team following his ban from the national team.

Previously, Katidis had played for Greek national junior teams.

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About The Author

Jill studies journalism at Northeastern University, covers Hockey East for College Hockey News and is the sports editor for The Huntington News. You can follow her on Twitter at @jillsaftel, just don't ask her to choose between hockey and baseball, it's impossible.