The Leagues Cup Disciplinary Committee fined Atlas FC for the Nazi tweet the club posted the day after their Leagues Cup group stage match against New York City FC. The official action by the tournament seemingly closes a brief, bizarre saga in which the club’s official Twitter account quoted Nazi reichsminister Joseph Goebbels to express their support of a VAR call that ruled an NYCFC goal offside.
The Atlas Nazi tweet made headlines across the globe — no matter that Goebbels seemingly never said what Atlas put in quotes despite the pains that tweet took to connect it to the Nazi reichsminister. (You can read the original tweet and translation below.) Atlas later deleted the tweet and apologized for making the statement, but not until after the post had remained live for most of the day and garnered over 4.3 million views. (The apology has been viewed 2.7 million times as of the publication of this post.)
Atlas FC Nazi tweet makes global news
Soccer fans and members of the media took note of the tweet shortly after it was posted on the morning of Monday, July 24. Many of the reactions were incredulous at first: Surely Atlas isn’t quoting Goebbels? To support their view that a goal scored by NYCFC midfielder Justin Haak was correctly ruled offside by VAR?
But that’s exactly what they did, and soon the Atlas FC Nazi tweet was the subject of articles around the world. The tweet made headlines in the Guardian, the Athletic, ESPN, the Daily Mail, Marca, and other major publications.
For a little more than 24 surreal hours, the global soccer news cycle was dominated by Lionel Messi’s debut in the Starting XI of Inter Miami, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the European transfer window, and a Liga MX club using Goebbels to debate a VAR call that was in their favor.
Goebbels never said that
Even more surreal: Goebbels evidently never said what Atlas attributed to him.
Atlas was careful to cite “Goebbels, Ministro Nazi de información (mano derecha de Hitler),” (“Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Information [Hitler’s right-hand man]”), when they quoted him as saying “‘miente, miente, miente que algo quedará, cuanto más grande sea una mentira más gente la creerá,’” (“‘lie, lie, lie so that it stays, because the bigger the lie the more people will believe it'”).
Goebbels was known for being one of the architects of the so-called “Big Lie,” which is when the state repeats a falsehood with such authority and frequency that it is treated like it’s a fact. But he never said the phrase that Atlas put in quotes.
Not only did Atlas go through great pains to quote a Nazi to make a point about an offside call that went their way, they got the quote wrong.
The Atlas FC Nazi tweet in full
When Hudson River Blue first reported on the Nazi tweet on Monday, July 24, the post was still in the feed of the official Twitter account of Atlas. It was later taken down, but not before we took a screenshot for posterity.
Here it is:
Here is the text of the tweet in the original Spanish, and translated into English:
Esta toma es más clara que el agua, el fuera de lugar sucede en la primera jugada. Es lamentable como “influencers” y gente de medios “analistas” manipulen generando ideas de “supuestas ayudas”, pero recordando lo que dijo Goebbels, Ministro Nazi de información (mano derecha de Hitler) que lo aplican a la perfección: “miente, miente, miente que algo quedará, cuanto más grande sea una mentira más gente la creerá”.
This frame is crystal clear, the offside happens on the first play. It’s sad how “influencers” and media people “analysts” manipulate by generating ideas of “supposed help”, but remember what Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Information (Hitler’s right-hand man) said as it applies perfectly: “lie, lie, lie so that it stays, because the bigger the lie the more people will believe it”.
Andrew Wiebe thinks the goal should have stood
For what it’s worth, Andrew Wiebe, Apple TV pundit and professional parser of soccer rules, thinks Haak was onside and the NYCFC goal should have stood.
Leagues Cup Disciplinary Committee statement
Here is the complete statement of the Leagues Cup Disciplinary Committee:
The Disciplinary Committee has fined Club Atlas for language posted on social media following the match against New York City FC. The language posted violates articles 3.3, 17.58 and 17.61 of the Leagues Cup 2023 Competition Regulations, as well as the principles promoted by the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA).