Soccer team AEK Athens player Giorgos Katidis has been under intense attacks by politicians, fellow soccer players, and—most important—the fans, after giving the Nazi salute after scoring a goal in a league game.
From the video of the game, it is clear that the midfielder Katidis raised his right arm in the “Heil Hitler” salute we all know from countless WW2 movies, after scoring the go-ahead goal in the 84th minute of a game against the Veria team on Saturday.
In the screen shot above, Katidis’ Brazilian-born teammate Roger Guerreiro is looking at him with a mix of astonishment and repulsion.
And the video below shows that while his ecstatic teammates were rushing to hug him in admiration, Katidis tried hard to keep up his saluting arm, meaning this was not just an unintentional gesture. This was a Nazi salute par excellence.
Nevertheless, the 20-year-old Katidis is pleading ignorance, insisting—including, of course, on his Twitter account—that he is, actually, anti-fascist.
And Ewald Lienen, AEK’s German coach, told the press his lad is innocent, and doesn’t have an “idea about politics” in his goal scoring head.
Since its foundation 1980, The People’s Association – Golden Dawn, or, simply Golden Dawn, has been a right-wing extremist political organization, led by Nikolaos Michaloliakos. Scholars and the media describe it as neo-Nazi and fascist, although the group rejects these labels, saying it follows the political ideology of Ioannis Metaxas, Greece’s prime minister in the 1930s, who preached national unity through the abolition of all political parties. But the Golden Dawn party uses of Nazi-looking symbols, and praises German Nazism.