The Football Association is conducting an inquiry into a member of its council who made a statement apologizing for their remark that “Benjamin Netanyahu would make Adolf Hitler proud.”
In 2019, Wasim Haq was appointed by the FA as a “BAME Football Communities Representative.” He received backlash when he made a comment on social media about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Haq, who is also involved with England Golf and the Lawn Tennis Association, removed the post and refuted claims of being antisemitic.
The Football Association (FA) originally stated that Haq had removed the post and apologized for causing offense after it was reported to the governing body on Saturday afternoon. However, Lord Wolfson, who is in charge of the FA’s Football Regulatory Committee, quickly called for additional measures to be implemented.
Haq, who previously held a role on the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, had posted on X: “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.”
Lord Wolfson 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 Jewish 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 [the FA chair] Debbie Hewitt for a formal and urgent investigation. It is something to be treated with the utmost seriousness.”
The Football Association has announced that they will be conducting an investigation following a controversial post made by Haq. A spokesperson denounced the post as inappropriate and extremely offensive. The Lawn Tennis Association has also distanced themselves from the post and will be looking into Haq’s actions, as he has shown support for Palestine in recent times.
Following the removal of the post, Haq stated: “I have been made aware that a tweet I posted yesterday may have caused offense. I have since deleted the tweet and offer my sincere apologies to anyone who was offended.”
The Football Association has received backlash for its handling of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th. Prominent Jewish organizations were dissatisfied with the decision not to illuminate the Wembley arch in the Israeli flag’s colors last month. A moment of silence was observed before England’s games against Australia and Italy at Wembley to honor all victims of the conflict.
The Football Association (FA) sparked outrage after appearing to not denounce past tweets made by Deji Davies, the chair of the FA’s inclusion advisory board, calling for a boycott of Israel. Davies removed the tweets, which were originally posted in 2013.