Marco van Basten has been forced to apologise for his "racist" remark during an interview with Fox Sports when he said, "Sieg Heil!" which technically means "Hail Victory" and was a victory salute originally used by the Nazis at political rallies, Der Spiegel reported. The phrase has enraged people in the Netherlands, causing a major scandal.
"It was not my intention at all to shock people. I only wanted to 'explain' Hans' German", Van Basten said as quoted by Der Spiegel, adding that it was just a "misplaced joke".
The Fox Sports broadcaster has also apologised, saying that the comment was inappropriate, "not only for today but for every day".
— knjb fan account (@knjbtypebeat) November 23, 2019
Van Basten's comment comes amid a week of extra emphasis on fighting racism in Dutch football clubs. Teams are engaging in a moment of silence before the start of matches.
Last week, a second division match between Den Bosch and Excelsior Rotterdam was briefly suspended by the referee following racist chants directed at Rotterdam player Ahmad Mendes Moreira.