German club fire official for using Nazi phrase during press conference | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.09.2017
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German club fire official for using Nazi phrase during press conference

Bert Ehm, the general manager of fifth-tier FC Teutonia 05, has been sacked by the club after footage emerged of him using a Nazi slogan. It's the latest in a string of negative headlines surrounding German soccer.

A club in Germany’s fifth-tier has dismissed a long-serving official after he used the phrase “Sieg Heil” during a post-game press conference.

Bert Ehm (pictured), 70, used the phrase - a form of greeting which rose to prominence in Nazi Germany and still used in far-right circles to this day - during a live social media broadcast. A long-time coach at the Hamburg club, Ehm had been operating as general manager until the incident.

Teutonia’s chairman, Diddo Ramman, distanced the club and its staff from “racism, facism and nationalistic ideas” in the wake of the dismissal, describing Ehm’s actions as “out of place in our society, our sport and the peaceful coexistence exercised at Teutonia 05.” Ehm subsequrently apologized, claiming that he was an “impulsive person who sometimes slips-up.”

WM Qualifikation - Deutschland gegen Tschechische Republik - Deutschland Fans (Reuters/D. W. Cerny)

Germany fans engaged in the chanting of Nazi slogans in Prague

It is the latest in a series of racist incidents that have had an impact on German football. Last month Joachim Löw was left outraged by racist chanting during Germany’s defeat of Czech Republic in Prague.

"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 behaviour. I think every one of those people who is prevented from getting into the stadium is a win," said the Germany manager at the time, with the players themselves refusing to acknowledge the away support after the game.

FC Teutonia 05 currently lie second in the Hamburg Oberliga, and will be hoping their off-field issues don’t distract the club as they seek to win promotion to the Regionalliga Nord.

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