FIFA opens disciplinary case against German federation

FIFA opens disciplinary case against the German soccer federation after fans chanted Nazi slogans during a World Cup qualifying game.

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Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)
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FIFA has opened a disciplinary case against the German soccer federation after fans chanted Nazi slogans during a World Cup qualifying game in the Czech Republic, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

German officials have said the fans did not buy tickets through its official process for last Friday's game in Prague.

FIFA, for its part, said "several incidents" are under investigation and a case is also open against the Czech federation. Home teams are responsible for security at their stadium.

Verdicts and sanctions should be decided in late September, according to AP.

About 200 German supporters chanted slogans during their team's 2-1 win last week, and verbally abused forward Timo Werner, who scored the first goal.

The slogans chanted included “Sieg Heil”. The fans also whistled and chanted during a moment of silence for two Czech officials who died.

German team manager Joachim Low blasted the fans, saying he was “full of anger” over their behavior and adding they “bring shame on our country.”

Low 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,” he stressed.

Earlier this week, German soccer president Reinhard Grindel, a member of the ruling committees at FIFA and UEFA, said that European federations must work together more closely to control ticket distribution following the incident.

The incident in Prague followed one in Austria, where a local soccer fan was given an 18-month prison sentence late last month for a Hitler salute during a match.

The Nazi salute is contrary to Austria’s tough laws against Nazi glorification.