FA suspends council member who claimed 'Hitler would be proud of Netanyahu'

Wasim Haq, a BAME Football Communities Representative, has apologised for the post


The Football Association (FA) have suspended a council member who said "Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu".

Wasim Haq, a BAME Football Communities Representative at the FA, wrote in a now-deleted post on X/Twitter: "Netanyahu has sacrificed his own people to maintain power whilst Palestinians are trying to maintain their sanity. Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu."

Haq was also sacked as a diversity and inclusion advisor at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) for the remarks whilst England Golf, where he works as a Senior Independent Director, are investigating the post from Saturday 11 November. 

An FA spokesperson said the post was "unacceptable and highly offensive" and added: "The investigation into Wasim Haq’s conduct is underway and he has been suspended from his council duties pending the outcome of the process."

A spokesperson for the LTA, the national governing body for Tennis in the UK, said: “The LTA board agreed that the tweet posted by Wasim Haq was unacceptable and in no way reflects the LTA's position or values. 

“The board have agreed that Wasim Haq will be removed from his role as an independent councillor with immediate effect."

An England Golf spokesperson said: "England Golf entirely disassociate ourselves from the post and will be investigating the matter".

Lord Wolfson, chairman of the FA’s Football Regulatory Committee, said the tweet was antisemitic.

The peer said: “Taking down the tweet and apologising is the minimum. That is necessary but it plainly can’t be a sufficient response.

“Using the language of Nazism to attack Jews or Israel is one of the examples of antisemitism by the IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] and the FA adopted the IHRA in January 2021. 

“I’ve asked [FA chair] Debbie Hewitt for a formal and urgent investigation. It is something to be treated with the utmost seriousness.”

Kick It Out, England football's anti-discrimination watchdog, urged people to be “cautious” when using social media to discuss the Israel-Hamas war

In a statement, they added: “We have noted the words of FA council member Wasim Haq, who has deleted and apologised for a social media post.

“Many football organisations, including the FA, have signed up to the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism.

“The deleted post met that definition and we await the outcome of the FA’s review.” 

Haq has since apologised for the post but denied he was antisemitic. He wrote on X/Twitter: “It has been brought to my attention that a tweet I published yesterday has caused offence. 

“I have deleted the tweet and apologise unreservedly to anyone that has felt offended.”

He later added: “My tweet was directly in relation to comparing two individuals who in my eyes have caused contemporary and historical irreparable harm to victimised communities on both sides of this tragic conflict.

“I am not and never have been the kind of person that targets anyone or any community over any difference ever. I am NOT antisemitic and have never been accused of being so.

“I unreservedly apologise if this was taken in any other way.

"Anyone who knows me will know that I stand to be counted on behalf of every community that is being marginalised in any way whatsoever and will continue to do so for the rest of my life

"To all those that are offended, I deeply apologise - and I continue to pray for an end to the needless loss of any life during this tragic conflict.”

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