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FIFA opens disciplinary case against German FA over Nazi chants in Prague

FIFA has opened a case against the DFB over the conduct of a group of fans who chanted Nazi slogans during a match in Prague. After the match, the players declined to approach their supporters to show their appreciation.

A FIFA spokesman confirmed to the Berliner Tagespiegel newspaper on Wednesday that football's world governing body had launched the proceedings against the German football association (DFB) over "several incidents" that occurred in the national team's 2-1 win last Friday.

FIFA also confirmed that the Czech football association was under investigation, as the home team is responsible for security at its venue. Verdicts and possible sanctions against one or both of the associations are expected to be announced by the end of the month.

Also on Wednesday, the DFB said that it would soon respond with a "comprehensive statement regarding the incidents." It said it would again make clear that the DFB distanced itself from "all right-wing extremists" and that "our staff had done everything in our power to prevent such incidents from occurring."

It also stressed that the German fans who were allegedly involved in the unsavory incidents had not purchased their tickets through the DFB.

An estimated 200 German supporters disrupted a minute's silence held prior to last Friday's match, verbally abused Germany and RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner and changed Nazi slogans. As a result the German players, who normally would have approached their fans after the match to express their appreciation for their support, declined to do so, instead proceeding straight down the tunnel towards their dressing room.

The conduct of this group of fans has been criticized not just by the DFB, but also several of the players and head coach Joachim Löw, who said that in view of the incidents, his players were right not to approach the supporters.

pfd/dv (SID, dpa)

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