Netherlands football legend Marco van Basten benched for a week by Fox Sports for saying 'sieg heil' on air

  • Van Basten, who made the comment after a German coach had been interviewed by a reporter, apologised later in the show.

  • The German phrase sieg heil means hail victory. The phrase became notorious for its use at Nazi rallies during the reign of Hitler.

  • Fox Sports distanced itself from the comment made by Van Basten, which the broadcaster called stupid and inappropriate.

The Hague: Retired Dutch football star Marco van Basten has been benched for a week by Fox Sports for saying “sieg heil” on air.

 Netherlands football legend Marco van Basten benched for a week by Fox Sports for saying sieg heil on air

File image of Marco Van Basten. Reuters

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

Van Basten, who made the comment after a German coach had been interviewed by a reporter, apologised later in the show.

Fox Sports said in a statement on Monday that it distanced itself from the comment, which the broadcaster called “stupid and inappropriate.”

Fox says it will not use Van Basten as an analyst this week and will donate his fee to a Dutch institute to promote knowledge about World War II.

Van Basten was a striker for Ajax and AC Milan and was one of the stars of the Netherlands team that won the European Championship in 1988.

After his playing career, he coached the Netherlands and other teams and was a senior official at FIFA.

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Updated Date: Nov 25, 2019 23:26:12 IST