Nazi 'Joke' Gets Legendary Player Removed From FIFA 20

Illustration for article titled Nazi Joke Gets Legendary Player Removed From iFIFA 20/i
Photo: Simon Bruty (Getty)

Holland’s Marco van Basten, one of the greatest players of the 20th century, has been removed from FIFA 20 after being caught on camera making what he called a Nazi “joke.

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Van Basten works as a commentator for Fox in the Netherlands, and was in the booth following a game in the Dutch league on Saturday between Ajax and Heracles Almelo. After touchline presenter Hans Kraay had interviewed Heracles manager Frank Wormuth, van Basten can be heard mocking Kraay’s attempts at speaking German (Wormuth is a German currently coaching in Holland) before saying “Seig Heil.

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He has since apologized, saying that he didn’t want to make an offensive remark, just “ridicule” his co-presenter’s foreign language skills (it’s important to note that the Dutch and Germans have one hell of a rivalry when it comes to football). That hasn’t stopped EA Sports from suspending van Basten from FIFA 20, where he was available as one of the game’s legendary players.

Illustration for article titled Nazi Joke Gets Legendary Player Removed From iFIFA 20/i

The suspension only applies to van Basten’s availability. Anyone who already has the player in their team can continue to use him.

Van Basten has also been suspended from his commentary duties, with his wages for this week instead donated to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

Hi,

As a Dutchman and as somebody who follows the Dutch Eredivisie let me shine some light on this. Hans Kraaij is kinda ridiculed in Holland he is a commentator who is really flamboyant. When he was a coach he threw with jackets and nowadays he does anything to get in the spotlight (for example the interview should’ve been in English). He always messes around with players, coaches and referees and is an all-around goofy guy, he immediatly said (just as the Heracles coach) that he didn’t care.

Does this make this allright? Absolutely not. Last month we had a big racism incident and the following weekend every football (soccer) match wasn’t played until the second minute of the game with the message: ‘If there is racism, we won’t play.” And now this happened a few weeks later. Obviously with the history of the phrase Marco uttered it was very sensitive. He profusely apologised, saying he should’ve not said that. Also it wasn’t meant as ridicule as in being mean, just as in to make fun of it in a lightheartened way (both Marco van Basten and Hans Kraaij worked together often and are on good terms). Commentators taking digs at each other happens from time to time, nothing new here.

To follow up on this, although Sigh Heil obviously is a big no-no around here, it isn’t as bad as for example racial slurs. This is because any bad blood between Germany and Holland has been cleared up. So even though people are mad, it’s not like Marco said the equivalent of the Dutch n-word. Again he is an idiot to say it, especially on live television, but here we try to move on. I also read somewhere the donation was Marco’s own idea and he really feels bad and stupid about it. And yes it is absolutely stupid (again) but he made his regrets, said sorry to all the pary’s involved and made steps to actually better the situation so most people forgave him, we are all human. Especially since this is his first time he actually did something this idiotic and isn’t a nutcase. Hopefully he will return in FIFA soon, because although I think bad behaviour should be punished, I feel positivity after such a situation should be rewarded too.