Fox Sports sidelines Marco van Basten, who said 'sieg heil' on air, for one week

Marco van Basten will sit out the weekend for Fox Sports after using a phrase popularized by the Nazis. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, file)

Fox Sports will keep analyst Marco van Basten off the air for a week after the retired Dutch football great said “sieg heil” on the air, the Associated Press reported.

Van Basten was off camera during a live postgame television show Saturday when he said the term. It’s a German phrase meaning “hail victory” that is widely known for its usage at Nazi rallies.

Fox Sports said it will not use van Basten this weekend and will donate his fee to a Dutch institute that promotes knowledge about World War II. From the Associated Press:

Fox Sports said in a statement on Monday that it distanced itself from the comment, which the broadcaster called “stupid and inappropriate.”

Van Basten, 55, apologized later in the show, telling viewers, “It was not my intention to shock people. I apologize.”

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner was a star for the Netherlands national team that won the 1988 European Championship, and he played for Ajax and AC Milan. He worked for two years with FIFA as a technical director, overseeing the introduction of video review for the World Cup in Russia, and left in October 2018 to spend more time with family in Amsterdam.

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