Giorgios Katidis has been banned for life from the Greek national team set-up over the Nazi-style salute he gave in celebration after scoring the winner in AEK Athens' 2-1 victory over Veria on Saturday. The Greek FA announced the decision on its website Sunday, condemning the player's actions.
The former Greece Under-19 captain sparked large-scale outrage among his club's supporters, who berated him on social media, after he raised his arm straight in front of him in salute after his goal in the Greek Super League game. The 20-year-old midfielder pleaded ignorance and took to his Twitter account to issue an apology.
"I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant," Katidis wrote.
Katidis, who has featured in 20 league games this campaign, was also supported by AEK's head coach, Ewald Lienen.
"He is a young kid who does not have any political ideas," Lienen said in his player's defense. "He most likely saw such a salute on the internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means.
"I am 100 percent sure Giorgos did not know what he did. He was crying in the dressing room seeing the reaction."
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