German national soccer team rejects fans shouting Nazi-era chants


(JTA) — The men’s national soccer team of Germany condemned fans who traveled to the World Cup qualifier in Prague for shouting Nazi-era chants.

Fans chanted “Sieg Heil” on Friday during the Germans’ 2-1 victory over the host Czech Republic. The fans also whistled and chanted during a moment of silence for two Czech officials who died.

“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,” German coach Joachim Loew said at a news conference. “They bring shame on our country.”

Loew said he hoped the raucous fans would be sanctioned.

“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,” Loew said.

The national team responded to the chants by refusing to applaud the visiting fans after the match as is customary, the AFP news agency reported.

The match took place on the anniversary of the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939, which started World War II.

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