Daily Israel Report

Nazi Sympathizer Rushes Field at World Cup, FIFA Does Nothing

Report: Eyewitnesses say neo-Nazi displaying anti-Semitic insignia at Germany-Ghana game stopped by infielder, not security.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 6/22/2014, 9:25 AM / Last Update: 6/22/2014, 9:30 AM

Soccer (illustrative)
Soccer (illustrative)
Flash 90

Racist and anti-Semitic incidents at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil continued Saturday, according to Yahoo! News, when a Nazi sympathizer rushed the field during the Ghana-Germany game.

No security attempted to stop him, eyewitnesses said, as he took off his shirt to reveal a Nazi message. A photo of the incident shows a man standing with numbers and phrases in German scrawled in black paint or marker across his chest. 

According to FIFA's own website, Article 3 of its Statutes claims that the competition rejects all racism or discrimination, and implies that legal action will be taken against violators: 

Discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.

However, no FIFA official allegedly intervened in Saturday's incident, and the Nazi infiltrator had to be escorted off the field by Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari, prompting criticism over FIFA's blasé attitude. 

The report also lambasted FIFA's lax policy toward racism during the game, as several German fans allegedly showed up to the match wearing blackface. 

FIFA has not released a media statement about either phenomenon.

This is not the first time Nazism has reared its ugly head at this year's grand soccer competition, however. 

Both Russia and Croatia face action over neo-Nazi banners displayed at games, the Telegraph reported last week, after being reported by the Fare network. 

Fare official and FIFA anti-racism taskforce member Piara Powar denounced the images in statements to the daily, but it remains unclear what actions will be taken.

“It seems that some fans of some countries will take their hatred halfway around the world," Powar stated. "These images need to be acted on urgently."

According to the Associated Press, an exhibit of historical World Cup jerseys on display at a mall in Salvador, Brazil, includes both a replica of a German 1934 shirt with a Nazi eagle and swastika and an Italian shirt bearing Mussolini's crest, a cylinder around an axe. 

Collection owner Duda Sampao has vigorously defended the continued display of the collection, citing "historical value." 

“Yes, there was a little problem about this jersey,” Sampao said. “It’s a historical jersey and a little before we started this exhibition, we talked about it with the people who were involved and everyone said it’s OK, there’s no problem because it’s a historical jersey.”

Yet another controversy surrounding the Cup emerged earlier this month, when several complainants claimed that a promotional video for the competition featured anti-Semitic symbols