Greek footballer Giorgos Katidis banned for Nazi salute

Giorgos Katidis celebrates his goal during a Super League match against Veria at the Olympic stadium in Athens on 16 March. Katidis insists he did not know what the gesture meant

A Greek footballer has been banned for life from playing for the national team after making a Nazi salute.

AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis, 20, made the gesture to celebrate his winning goal during a Saturday match.

The Greek football federation called it "a severe provocation" that insulted "all the victims of Nazi bestiality".

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.

The player - a former captain of Greece's under-19 team - was fiercely criticised on social media for the salute after scoring the winner in AEK's 2-1 victory over Veria in the Olympic stadium on Saturday.

He insisted he was simply pointing at a team mate in the stands.

The club have asked him to explain himself at a board meeting next week.

But AEK's German coach Ewald Lienen has backed Katidis.

"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.

More on This Story

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • People take part in an egg-cracking contest in the village of Mokrin, 120km (75 miles) north of Belgrade, Serbia on 20 April 2014In pictures

    Images from around the world as Christians mark Easter Sunday


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.