Belfast Telegraph

Germany coach calls for sanctions after 'Nazi' chanting

 

By Robert Jones

Germany coach Joachim Low has disowned a section of the national team's fan base and condemned their behaviour during the 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic as "despicable".

A minute's silence was interrupted and there were reports of Nazi-era chants being made during the World Cup qualifier in Prague on Friday, resulting in angry players refusing to acknowledge supporters after the victory.

Low, ahead of the visit of Norway, has joined in the criticism, calling for "harsh sanctions" against the perpetrators.

"I am neither upset nor sad. I am full of rage," he said.

"Those are not our fans. I'm disgusted that these so-called fans embarrassed our country on an international stage.

"I am absolutely for harsh sanctions against these fanatics who brought shame on our country."

The match could see Germany secure top spot in Group C, and qualify for Russia with two games to spare, if they extend their 100% record to eight matches and second-placed Northern Ireland drop points against the Czechs.

Meanwhile, Belgium became the first European side to join hosts Russia at next summer's World Cup finals as goals from Jan Vertonghen and Romelu Lukaku gave them victory in Greece.

All three goals came in a five-minute second half period, which began with Vertonghen firing Belgium ahead.

Zeca brought Greece level soon after but Lukaku scored the final goal with a glancing header.

Bosnia-Herzegovina have moved ahead of Greece in the race to claim a play-off spot as Edin Dzeko scored twice in a 4-0 win in Gibraltar to take them up to second place.

Switzerland maintained their three-point advantage over European champions Portugal.

An own goal from home keeper Andris Vanins, a strike from Blerim Dzemaili and a spot kick from Ricardo Rodriguez gave the Swiss a 3-0 win in Latvia.

Portugal took advantage of Tamas Priskin being sent off to claim a 1-0 win in Hungary, with Andre Silva scoring the goal.

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