November 26 – Not so long ago he was a special adviser to Gianni Infantino as FIFA’s head of technical development. Now, as a television analyst, Marco van Basten has been suspended for making a Nazi remark.
The Dutch edition of Fox Sports has thrown the former world superstar off air for a week for using the expression ‘Sieg Heil’ – a phrase that became notorious for its use at Nazi rallies. Fox said the remark was “stupid and inappropriate”.
Van Basten was off camera on Saturday when he used the German phrase for ‘hail victory’ after a German coach had been interviewed by a reporter.
One of the greatest footballers of all time who also coached his country and worked as a senior official for FIFA for two years until October 2018, van Basten apologised later in the show saying he had “not intended to shock people.”
But the three-time Ballon d’Or winner’s comments came on the very weekend in which teams across the Netherlands took part in an anti-racism show of force after an Excelsior player was subject to racist chants.
Fox said Van Basten’s wages for the week would be donated to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation but made the point that he “did not want to hurt anyone deliberately, apologised and accepted the consequences”.
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