Skip to content

Stay classy, Deutschland: German soccer fans taunt Israeli player with Hitler salutes

Feb 29, 2012, 5:43 PM EDT

Tel Aviv's Israeli forward Itay Shechter Getty Images

Hard to imagine a worse-case PR scenario for the German Soccer Federation than this: a group of German fans taunted Kaiserslautern striker Itay Schechter, who is from Israel, with Nazi salutes during a team practice on Sunday. Kaiserslautern is in the German Bundesliga League, where it is next to last in the standings.

Reports differ as to the number of fans who participated in the abuse — estimates range from five to 10 — but the incident was reported to German police by the club. Far from being just politically incorrect, flashing Nazi gestures or symbols is actually against the law in Germany. And dierceting them toward a Jewish player? Oh, man. Jerusalem Post:

Shechter did not notice the incident, but Kaiserslautern informed the police and is looking for witnesses. “There is no place for racism at Kaiserslautern. We will make sure that these guys are punished,” Kaiserslautern president Stefan Kuntz said.

“They are members of the hooligan scene who have been previously convicted and serve stadium bans,” spokesman Christian Gruber added.

Huffington Post:

The club’s official fan group has apologized for the situation. The club says fewer than 10 fans were involved and belonged to a hooligan group banned from games.

The Israeli embassy in Berlin also condemned the attack and said it was “appalled.”

  1. sledgehorn - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    At first when I read this I thought it said German players were taunting Israel players…
    At least this was fans … Still not okay, but wow I thought it was way worse then it was.
    Regardless, horrible situation. Not okay.