FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the German Football Federation [DFB] after German fans chanted Nazi slogans at a FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifier in Prague.
Around 200 fans circumvented FIFA’s official process to buy tickets to Germany’s match against Czech Republic last week, where they interrupted a minute’s silence for two deceased Czech officials, set off flares, sang provocative chants, and shouted the Nazi salute, “Sieg Heil!”
The mob also verbally abused forward Timo Werner, who scored the first goal in a 2-1 win for ‘die Mannschaft’.
Werner plays for RB Leipzig, suggesting the fans may have predominantly been followers of Dynamo Dresden, a rival club with a large far-right following, located less than 200km from Prague.
FIFA says “several incidents” are under investigation and a case is also open against the Czech federation, as home teams are responsible for security at their stadium. Verdicts and sanctions should be decided in late September.
DFB president Reinhard Grindel, a member of the ruling committees at FIFA and UEFA, said European federations must work together more closely to control ticket distribution.
“I am not so much upset or sad as I am full of rage, I think that describes my feelings better,” German coach Joachim Löw said at the time.
Löw’s team maintained a perfect winning record against the Czech Republic to remain top of Europe’s qualification Group C for the 2018 World Cup next year.
“I am really very angry about what happened, that some so-called fans used the stage of an international football match to bring shame on our country with their extremely embarrassing appearance and behavior.
“I think every one of those people who is prevented from getting into the stadium is a win,” he added.
In early August, UEFA charged Polish club Legia Warsaw after its fans produced a banner of a Nazi holding a gun to a child’s head at a Champions League qualifying match.
Fans of the Polish champions hoisted a ‘tifo’ the length of an entire stand at the Polish Army Stadium with an image of a Nazi-uniformed figure holding a gun to a crying child’s head on a background of a Polish flag bearing the year 1944.