Lower league German club Lok Leipzig is "in shock" after two youth coaches were caught taking a photo in which a group of young players were performing a Nazi salute. “This is a slap in the face," a statement said.
The fourth-tier club have announced that the the two coaches have been sacked after gathering a group of players from the club's youth wing and taking a photo of them performing the offensive gesture. An official complaint has also been filed with the local police in Leipzig.
"This is a slap in the face of every athlete, club members and people with common sense," said the club's official statement.
"We, as the board, were shocked that something like that could happen," Lok's Vice-President Alexander Voigt told local outlet LVZ. According to Voigt, the coaches "used the youngsters for their own purposes.”
The players involved, who were all roughly 16 years old, have been suspended by the club until the end of the season. But that's far from being the only measure the club plans to take.
Lok say they will offer workshops on democracy, antisemitism and violence while LVZ says trips to Holocaust memorial sites are also being discussed.
"We want to live up to our social educational responsibility as a club and work together with the local sports association, the fan project and the young people involved to deal with this incident," Lok President Thomas Löwe said in a statement.
The Sachsen Sports Association (LSB) praised the club for their reaction. "The fact [the club] reacted so quickly shows that they take the topic very seriously," an LSB statement said.
Lok Leipzig recently made headlines in Germany after some of the club's fans spread stickers with Anne Frank wearing the jersey of Leipzig rivals Chemie. The club has been praised by the LSB for the work that has been done in terms of fighting right-wing extremism among the club's fans.