FIFA Fines Germany After Soccer Fans Chant Nazi Slogans - Opposing Views

FIFA Fines Germany After Soccer Fans Chant Nazi Slogans

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Soccer's governing body, FIFA, imposed a $33,000 fine on Germany on Oct. 2 after the national team's fans could be heard chanting Nazi slogans at a World Cup qualifying match in the Czech Republic.

Nearly 200 German supporters yelled out Nazi chants and verbally abused the team's forward, Timo Werner. The fans also encroached on the field and set off fireworks, according to The Associated Press.

Germany was charged with "improper conduct" and given a $33,000 fine. The Czech federation was also fined $5,150 for crowd disorder.

German officials say the unruly fans did not purchase tickets for the match in Prague through official channels. 

Team manager Joachim Low expressed his disappointment and rage at the fans' behavior.

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"I am actually full of rage, that is the best way I can put it," he said, according to The Sun. "I’m also really fed up that some of the so-called fans are using the stage of [soccer] and the stage of an international game to put on this hugely embarrassing display. Their behavior brings great shame upon our country."

A traveling crowd of fans could be heard yelling "Sieg!" and "heil!" just as the final whistle blew. Sieg, Heil -- or victory, hail -- is commonly referred to as the Hitler salute and was used as a greeting in Nazi Germany.

“We don’t want these idiots," said Low. "We’re not their national team and they’re not our fans."

Germany won the match against Prague 2-1, advancing on its path toward the 2018 World Cup. Germany's next match is Oct. 5 in Northern Ireland.

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FIFA has been trying to crack down on offensive and hateful chants at soccer matches and has previously imposed fines on seven national federations for incidences of fans yelling gay slurs. 

In June, the Mexican soccer federation begged its fans to stop yelling homophobic slurs every time the opposing team scored, according to The Washington Post. The team was previously fined $85,000 for allowing fans to use the slur in five World Cup qualifying matches.

“As you know, FIFA is very serious about the chanting that we do when the goalkeeper takes a kick, and the possible sanctions are serious,” Mexican soccer's governing body told fans in a statement. “Our efforts on the pitch will come to nothing if, because of this, we lose the match, the game is suspended or you are expelled from the stadium."

"We lose, you lose, everyone loses."

Sources: AP, The Sun, The Washington Post / Featured Image: Photocapy/Flickr / Embedded Images: Stewart/Flickr, Jimmy Balkovicius/Flickr

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