Referee told Jewish footballers should 'remember concentration camps'

By Jennifer Lipman, February 14, 2012

A well-known Manchester Football Association official told a referee to remind Jewish players of "the concentration camps" if they gave him any trouble.

Phil Morris, the referee appointments secretary at the Manchester FA, was found guilty by an FA panel of making the comment before a match involving Jewish teams from the Manchester Jewish Soccer League.

According to the Manchester Evening News, it is claimed that he told the referee who was due to oversee the match that if the players gave him "any s***" he should "tell them to remember the concentration camps".

Morris has been suspended from all football and football activity until May for the use of "abusive and/or insulting words, aggravated by race", although he has two weeks to appeal. The charge is the same one that was brought against Liverpool player Luis Suarez for his abuse of Patrice Evra.

The alleged remark was described as "obscene" by Lucille Cohen, president of the Manchester Jewish Representative Council.

The Community Security Trust and Maccabi GB said they were pleased to see the FA take action over what was "clearly an offensive and antisemitic remark.

"Racism has no place in football at any level, whether from players, supporters or officials.

"It is important to publicise cases like this to show that it is always worth reporting racist abuse, and to deter people from making racist remarks in the future."

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: "Such a callous reference to concentration camps is clearly an insult to victims and survivors of the Holocaust as well as any decent minded person – the FA have rightly recognised the deep offence caused by these comments."

Last updated: 1:00pm, February 14 2012