Award to ref who made anti-Jewish comments revoked

By Jessica Elgot, June 21, 2012

The Manchester Football Association has withdrawn the offer of honorary membership to a refereeing official who made racist comments about concentration camps before a Manchester Jewish Soccer League match.

Earlier this year a teenage Jewish official overheard referee appointments secretary Phil Morris, in the changing room of Manchester United’s Carrington training ground, saying before an MJSL game: “Tell them to remember the concentration camps if they give you any s***.”

In March, two young referees gave evidence against Mr Morris, at a disciplinary hearing held by a team of FA officials from London, after the matter was referred to the national body. He was found guilty of abusive and/or insulting words aggravated by race, and banned for three months.

Manchester FA chief executive Colin Bridgford vowed to “eliminate discrimination” saying he believed that, previously, the remarks would have been “brushed under the carpet.”

But this month, Mr Morris was offered life membership, honouring his 19-year service, by Manchester FA president Frank Hannah. After objections, Mr Hannah announced at last week’s annual meeting that the offer was being withdrawn.

Last updated: 11:56am, June 21 2012