FA and EFL adopt IHRA definition of antisemitism

Announcements come on Holocaust Memorial Day


The Football Association (FA) and the English Football League (EFL) have both announced on Holocaust Memorial Day that they have adopted  the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Following last month’s announcement by the Premier League that they had adopted the definition, Mark Bullingham, the FA’s Chief Executive Officer confirmed on Wednesday his organization’s commitment to tackling anti-Jewish racism.

Mr Bullingham said: “Adopting this working definition is an important step and it will provide clarity across football on what language or actions may be considered antisemitic.

“We will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and everyone within football to reaffirm the message that antisemitic behaviour is completely unacceptable.”

Meanwhile in their own statement, the EFL, which represents the three lower football divisions,  said that in conjunction with Kick it Out and Lord Mann, the UK Government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism, they were joining over 30 countries, major political parties, local authorities, and fellow members of football family in its adoption of the definition.

Trevor Birch, the EFL Chief Executive said: “Discrimination has no place in football or society, and today on Holocaust Memorial Day, the EFL is adopting the IHRA’s definition as part of an ongoing, international effort to combat antisemitism. 

“Prejudice and the language of hatred must be challenged by us all and the EFL remains steadfast in its resolve to help foster equality throughout our game and unity in our communities.”

The moves follow a concerted effort by Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, and Lord John Mann to encourage sporting organisations and clubs to take the lead in adopting IHRA.

Mr Goldstein said: "We thank The English Football League for joining the growing list of respected institutions in adopting the IHRA definition of Antisemitism. Football inspires millions across our country and the world and the impact of this adoption will be felt far and wide.

“It will help protect Jewish fans and inform and educate others in what modern anti-Jewish racism can look like and how important it is to call it out."

Lord Mann also praised the FA saying: “This is an opportunity to strengthen anti-racist work across all levels of the game and I am proud that The FA has been one of the world leaders in adopting the IHRA definition.”

To commemorate UK Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday, Wembley Stadium will light its arch in purple. It joins several other iconic landmarks in doing so, across the country.

Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, said: “We know that antisemitism is still a prominent issue in society. But, football has the power to inspire change and that’s what we want to see through clubs adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

“The reach of football clubs is vast and their messages are seen by millions of supporters. So, the more people we can reach and educate, the more impact we can have as a society in wiping out antisemitism for good.”




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