Greek Player Who Gave Nazi Salute After Goal Banned For Life This weekend marked the 70th anniversary of the roundup and deportation of Greek Jews to Nazi extermination camps during World War II. What better way to commemorate such a somber occasion than by giving a full-on Nazi salute after scoring a game-winning goal in the Greek Super League? AP Photo/INTIME AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis scored on a late deflection on Saturday, giving his club a 2-1 Super League victory over Veria. Like his toe-poke deflection, his celebration choice may have just been instinct as well, but giving the Nazi salute was clearly a bad first touch. For his actions, Greece’s soccer federation EPO handed Katidis a lifetime ban from all national soccer teams. “The player’s action to salute to spectators in a Nazi manner is a severe provocation, insults all the victims of Nazi bestiality and injures the deeply pacifist and human character of the game,” EPO said. • ALSO: Pssshtorius, GK Bruno’s Baby Mama Murder Plot Is Nuts The odd salute and federation’s ban comes at a time when Greece’s Golden Dawn Party is improbably gaining in popularity. The Neo-Nazi political party swept into parliament with 18 seats in last year’s election. The 20-year-old Katidis had previously been a captain for Greece’s Under-19 team. Even his teammates who caught the gesture were left confused: AP Photo/INTIME • SEE ALSO: Berlusconi’s Brother Uses Racial Slur to Describe Balotelli Katidis took to Twitter to plead ignorance, telling fans “I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant.” Here’s a rough English translation: Katidis said he was simply pointing at injured teammate Michalis Pavlis in the stands, dedicating the game-winning goal to his buddy. AEK’s coach defended his player: “He is a young kid who does not have any political ideas,” he said. “He most likely saw such a salute on the Internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means.” Giorgos Katidis’ coach is Ewald Lienen … from Germany. It all happened very quickly. Here’s the goal and celebration: SEE ALSO: • Soccer Player Hits Posts Four Times on One Shot, Doesn’t Score • Brazilian Prostitutes Learning English Ahead of 2014 World Cup Slade Sohmer Slade Sohmer is editor-in-chef of HyperVocal and co-host of SiriusXM's daily "Politics Powered By Twitter" program. Tweet him at @SladeHV.