A 20-year-old Greek soccer player has been banned for life from Greece's national teams for apparently throwing up a Nazi salute after scoring a game-winning goal on Saturday. (Deadspin's got video, here.)

Giorgos Katidis maintains he didn't know what the Nazi salute meant, and was merely pointing at a teammate in the stands. (Hitler.) According to the Guardian, he described himself as "not a fascist" on Twitter before deleting his account.

Katidis' coach Ewald Lienen (incidentally: a German) defended his player's total lack of self-awareness, historical knowledge, and general brainpower, saying it was very likely that this adult human being who had grown up in the world had no idea what a Nazi salute looked like or stood for.

What "most likely" happened, according to Lienen, is that Katidis saw a picture of the move on the Internet one night while performing a Google Image search for "cool moves to do + no context," then blindly copied it.

"He is a young kid who does not have any political ideas. He most likely saw such a salute on the internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means."

In other words: Katidis doesn't even know if he's a Nazi yet.

Unfortunately, Greece's national soccer federation, the EPO, isn't giving the (now former) AEK Athens player any time to make up his mind on that one. They've already released a statement banning Katidis from the federation for life:

"The player's action to salute to spectators in a Nazi manner is a severe provocation, insults all the victims of Nazi bestiality and injures the deeply pacifist and human character of the game."

To help you avoid blunders like this, here's a quick refresher on how to point to a friend:

  1. Extend one arm in the direction of your friend and (IMPERATIVE) fold all of your fingers except the index into a fist.
  2. Use the index finger to pinpoint the location of your friend.
  3. Don't salute the Führer.

[Guardian // Image via AP]