Marco van Basten has been suspended for a week by FOX Sports in Holland for his “stupid and inappropriate” on-air reference to Nazi Germany.
Van Basten, a three-time Ballon d’Or winner, was picked up using the words “Sieg Heil” following a pitchside interview with Heracles’ German manager Frank Wormuth on Saturday.
The phrase is associated with Nazi regime and the 55-year-old Ajax great issued an apology suggesting he was referring to his Fox colleague Hans Kraay’s pronunciation during the interview.
He has nevertheless been stood down by the broadcaster for next week’s programme, with his fee donated to a suitable charity.
A statement on foxsports.nl read: “Marco van Basten made a mistake last Saturday in the De Eretribune programme. With a wrong joke at the wrong time, he missed (the target) that evening.
“What happened was stupid and inappropriate and FOX Sports…has therefore decided this week to abandon the services of Marco van Basten as an analyst at FOX Sports. His donation is donated to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), to promote awareness and knowledge about the history of the Second World War.
“Van Basten did not want to hurt anyone deliberately, apologised and accepted the consequences. FOX Sports supports the collaboration with Marco van Basten and welcomes him back to De Eretribune next Saturday, December 7.”
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