Marco van Basten apologizes for “Sieg Heil” comment during interview

At the end of a live television broadcast, retired Dutch football star, Marco van Basten, remarked “Sieg Heil”. He has subsequently apologised by commenting, “it was not the intention to shock people, so [I] apologise for this”, NOS reports. 

Sieg Heil was a verbal salute used by Nazis to rally support for Adolf Hitler. It translates to Hail Victory.

The interview

A German coach was being interviewed by Fox Sports about the game between Ajax Amsterdam and Heracles Almelo. Just after the interview ended, van Basten can be heard saying the words off camera.

The apology

The European champion from 1988 apologised for the comment in Fox’s live broadcast. “I said something that was picked up by many people later. It was not the intention to shock people, so [I] apologise for this. It was more to explain Hans’ German”, NOS reports.  

Presenter Jan Joost van Gangelen replied “apologies accepted”.

German internet site T-Online commented, “whatever it was meant to be, don’t make jokes about a Nazi salutation”.

Racism in football

Just one week ago, a game between Den Bosch and Excelsior was stopped for thirty minutes after racist slurs “k-negro, k-cottonpicker, k-blackiewere” were heard from the crowd. This was the first time in Dutch professional football a game was halted because of racism.

Last week, the National Dutch football team released an anti-racism statement entitled “enough is enough” on social media.

Feature image: Paul Blank/Wikimedia 

Freya Sawbridge
Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying “oh I have always wanted to go there but it’s so far away!”). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.


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