"Netanyahu has sacrificed his own people"
Wasim Haq, who joined the Football Association (FA) in 2018, has been suspended from his council member post for his tweet regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
As reported by The Mirror, the FA said:
“The investigation into Wasim Haq’s conduct is underway and he has been suspended from his council duties pending the outcome of the process.”
This is a result of Haq’s sacking from the Lawn Tennis Association, to which he was an independent councillor, where his comments about the ongoing war in Gaza came under fire.
In the now-deleted tweet, Haq said:
“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.”
The LTA reacted to this and wrote in a statement:
“The LTA board considered this matter today and agreed that the tweet posted by Wasim Haq on 11 November 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.”
Haq originally entered the FA in order to represent BAME football communities, however, his role is now pending the outcome of the FA’s investigation.
Haq spoke on the incident via X, tweeting out:
“To ensure that there is no doubt I am now aware that a tweet I published yesterday 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.
“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.”
However, the chair of the FA’s Football Regulatory Committee, Lord Wolfson, told The Guardian:
“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.”