FIFA opens case against German soccer federation over ‘Sieg Heil’ chants of fans


(JTA) — The governing body of international soccer, FIFA, opened a disciplinary case against the German soccer federation after fans who traveled to the World Cup qualifier in Prague shouted Nazi-era chants.

About 200 fans chanted “Sieg Heil” on Sept. 1 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.

The Czech federation also is under investigation, as the home team is responsible for providing security at its stadiums and controls ticket sales.

Verdicts in the investigations are expected at the end of the month.

German national team coach Joachim Loew said at a news conference following the game that the fans “bring shame on our country.”

“We don’t want them, we’re not their national team, and they’re not our fans,” he said. “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.”

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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