Greek Midfielder Banned From National Team For Life After Possible Nazi SaluteS

Giorgos Katidis is a former captain of the Greek under-19 team and current midfield for AEK Athens. On Saturday, he scored a game-winning goal in a Super League match against Veria and went on to strip his shirt off and salute the crowd as shown above (and the below video).

Following the game, Katidis came under heavy fire for the salute and Greece's football federation, EPO, issued a lifetime ban, prohibiting from participating on any national teams.

The player's action to salute to spectators in a Nazi manner is a severe provocation, insults all the victims of Nazi bestiality and injures the deeply pacifist and human character of the game," EPO said in a statement.

Katidis, 20, took to Twitter to defend himself, claiming ignorance of the gesture and said he was merely pointing at a teammate battling illness who was in the stands. His AEK coach provides a more believable reason: "He most likely saw such a salute on the internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means."

AEK was not as harsh as EPO and the team will allow Katidis to explain himself, at which time he can ask which is more believable: that he would knowingly reference a universally reviled group or that a 20-year-old is not totally caught up on his world history.

Greek footballer given lifetime national ban after apparent Nazi salute [Guardian]