AP NEWS

Van Basten apologizes for saying ‘sieg heil’ on TV show

November 24, 2019 GMT

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Retired Dutch football star Marco van Basten has apologized for saying “sieg heil” during a live television show after a German coach was interviewed.

Van Basten, working as an analyst for Fox Sports, was off camera Saturday when he used the German phrase for “hail victory” that became notorious for its use at Nazi rallies.

Later in the show, Van Basten said: “It was not my intention to shock people. I apologize.”

Van Basten’s comment came on a weekend during which Dutch soccer clubs were putting extra emphasis on fighting racism by standing still for a minute at the start of matches.

Last weekend a second division match between Den Bosch and Excelsior Rotterdam was briefly halted by the referee following racist chants directed at a black player.