AEK Athens 20-year-old midfielder Giorgos Katidis was banned for life by the Greek Football Federation after a Nazi salute celebration following a game-winning goal in a match against Veria. The celebration was met with outrage, calling it “a severe provocation” that insulted “all the victims of Nazi bestiality.”
Katisdis, a former captain of the Greek under-19 national team claims ignorance and says he was gesturing to a teammate in the stands.
Katidis denied he gave a Nazi salute. “I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant,” Katidis said on his Twitter account.
AEK Athens’ German coach Ewald Lienen, supports his player and believes he did the heinous act not knowing what it meant.
“He is a young kid who does not have any political ideas. He most likely saw such a salute on the internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means,” he said, according to Reuters news agency.
My question would be has there been any evidence of inappropriate or racist behavior prior to this incident? I don’t know that my mind would’ve immediately assumed that he was giving the “Nazi salute” without some previous incident or statements to relate the move to.
Check the video and let me know if you think this is cut and dry.