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German national football coach blasts fans after Nazi-era chants at match
Germany
German national football coach blasts fans after Nazi-era chants at match

Germany’s national soccer team coach Joachim Loew on Sunday dubbed as “shameful” Nazi-era chanting by a hardcore group of “so-called fans” during a World Cup qualifier.

The chants of “Sieg Heil” (Hail Victory) came from a 200-strong group of travelling fans in Friday’s 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Prague. They also whistled during the minute’s silence before kick-off for two deceased Czech officials.

The chants were particularly embarrassing from a German perspective as they came on the anniversary of the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, which started World War II in 1939.

“I can’t turn directly to sporting questions without commenting on what happened in Prague,” Loew said at the start of a press conference ahead of Monday’s qualifier against Norway in Stuttgart, victory in which could secure Germany’s place in Russia next year.

“I’m full of anger and I’m very much shaken to see that some so-called fans use football, and an international match, for their deplorable demonstrations. They bring shame on our country,” Loew said, hailing his players’ decision to not applaud the block where away fans were gathered at the end of the match, as is customary.

“I am favourable to very severe sanctions against these troublemakers. We don’t want them, we’re not their national team, and they’re not our fans.

“Given our history, it’s very important for us to represent our country in a dignified fashion and its values of tolerance, respect and openness to the world. These troublemakers demean this image.”

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Monday, September 04, 2017
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