FA suspends council member after he compared Israeli PM to Hitler

Wednesday 22nd November 2023 06:32 EST

The Football Association has suspended a council member who said that “Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Wasim Haq, who joined the FA in 2018 to represent BAME football communities, has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. The FA said in a statement: “The investigation into Wasim Haq’s conduct is underway and he has been suspended from his council duties pending the outcome of the process”.

It comes after he was sacked as an independent councillor by the Lawn Tennis Association for his comments on the ongoing war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. Haq has since deleted his tweet, which read: “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, who also holds a role with England Golf and describes himself as an “advisor/mentor” on social media, previously denied being anti-Semitic. He wrote on Twitter : “To ensure that there is no doubt I am now aware that a tweet I published has caused offence.

"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.
Lord Wolfson, who chairs the FA’s Football Regulatory Committee, previously said: “Taking down the tweet and apologising is the minimum. That is necessary but it plainly can’t be a sufficient response.

The LTA’s statement read: “The LTA board considered this matter today and agreed that the tweet posted by Haq was unacceptable and in no way reflects the LTA’s position or values. Therefore the board has agreed that Wasim Haq will be removed from his role as an independent councillor with immediate effect.”

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