AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis has been banned from playing with all Greek national teams for life, after making a Nazi salute on the pitch during a recent match.
The Hellenic Football Federation announced it’s decision in a statement on Sunday, adding that the players gesture was “a profound insult to all victims of Nazi atrocities” and they condemned it “unequivocally and categorically”. The Federation said the ban was a unanimous decision from the executive committee at an extra-ordinary meeting.
Meanwhile, his club AEK have demanded an apology from the player, and the board are due to meet in the coming days to decide on his future. Katidis is understood to have made the offending Nazi salute after scoring the winning goal in AEK’s 2-1 Super League win over Veria.
The player continues to insist he did not know what the gesture meant, claiming that he was pointing to team-mate Michalis Pavlis.
Katidis wrote on Twitter: “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.”