An urgent investigation is underway by a children’s football club after a parent allegedly objected to their child taking part in a match against a Jewish team.
The incident occurred when the north London under 14s football club, Panthera FC, were scheduled to play against Maccabi London Lions FC this week. Panthera FC were already at a disadvantage with only ten players on the field but were brought down to only nine after the incident.
In a message sent out to club members on Monday morning, Panthera FC said it took reports “of these matters very seriously and any incidents will be investigated thoroughly and reported to the authorities where needed.
“We will not hesitate to take appropriate action, including removal from our club. Our priority is to create an environment where every child can thrive, where the richness of diversity is celebrated and where prejudice has no place.”
They add that should any parents “harbour prejudice of any kind that could affect your child’s experience or our culture of inclusivity, then we must be honest – this may not be the right club for you.”
In a statement sent out to parents on Monday, Andy Landesberg, Chairman of MLLFC, said the situation has left them all feeling “deeply concerned”.
He said: “The manager of the opposing team from Panthera FC informed our manager that 4 parents of their players objected to their children playing football against Jewish boys. This information has subsequently been revisited by Panthera to 1 parent.”
Landesberg said they take matters such as these “extremely seriously” and were in the process of finalising a report on the issue, which would then be shared with several anti-discrimination in sport organisations.
“We want to emphasise that there is no place for anti-semitism, racism, or any form of discrimination within our Football Club. We are committed to upholding our core values of inclusivity, respect, and diversity. We maintain a strict zero-tolerance policy towards any actions associated with these harmful behaviours. That said, please let me assure you that we will not accept or tolerate when others do not act in keeping with these values. Our commitment to security remains unwavering, and we continue to closely monitor and enhance our security measures as the situation unfolds.”