Itay Shechter Taunted With Hitler Salutes: German Federation Condemns Anti-Semitic Act Against Israeli Player
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- The German soccer federation condemned an anti-Semitic act involving Kaiserslautern's Israel striker Itay Shechter and says it will not tolerate such abuse.
A small group of Kaiserslautern fans directed Hitler salutes at Shechter during Sunday's practice.
The German soccer federation's designated president Wolfgang Niersbach says such abuse has to be "nipped in the bud" and "we must act decisively."
The club's official fan group has apologized for the situation. The club says fewer than 10 fans were involved and belonged to a hooligan group banned from games.
The club, which is next to last in the Bundesliga, reported the act to the police. Police spokesman Wolfgang Denzer said authorities were still evaluating the evidence.
The Israeli embassy in Berlin also condemned the attack and said it was "appalled."
Hitler salutes and other Nazi symbols are outlawed in Germany.
The DFB has conducted a campaign to eliminate racism and other abuse for years and such acts are rare at top league matches, although problems remain in lower leagues.