AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis scored the winning goal in his team’s 2-1 Super League victory over Veria on Saturday but celebrated by giving the Nazi salute to spectators at the Olympic Stadium.
The controversial action by the promising 20-year-old is sure to lead to disciplinary action by the team and the league.
After the match Katidis wrote on his Twitter site: “I am not a fascist and I would not have done it if I had known what it means. I know the consequences and I would never have done it.” AEK’s German coach Ewald Lienen said his player was ignorant of what the salute signified.
“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.
“I am 100 percent sure that Giorgos did not know what he did. He was crying in the dressing room seeing how the media reacted. He is young and needs protection.” Last August, former Greek Under-19 skipper Katidis signed a four-year contract with AEK.