A Football Association (FA) council official resigned after comparing Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler on his social media. After initially being suspended for the post, he decided to step aside and explained his reasons through a post on X, formerly Twitter. The FA is the body in charge of commanding the Premier League, the first division of English soccer.
"Netanyahu has sacrificed his own people to maintain power... while #Palestinians try to maintain sanity. Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu," Wasim Haq initially wrote and later deleted the post and uploaded another denying being anti-Semitic. He said his writing was simply a "direct criticism of a politician" and not one of "a race or a religious group."
Weeks later, Haq confirmed his resignation through the same social media platform, regretting the situation and analyzing the war between Israel and Hamas.
This morning I have resigned from The FA. I have also reiterated my apology to the Jewish community.
This war has left thousands dead, many of us are in despair and deeply troubled.
I hope football can play a future role in easing tensions between communities.
Pls read ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/lqXUU5lDdQ
— Wasim Haq 🏴🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@wasim_haq) November 23, 2023
"As someone who has worked closely with many Jewish people over the years and created meaningful and valuable friendships, the most painful part of this process is knowing that some of those friends and colleagues may not forgive me for the misunderstanding and hurt that I have unintentionally caused. I assume full responsibility and reiterate my apologies to them and to all those affected," he wrote.
"In expressing those feelings, I chose the wrong words entirely, and that has impacted the leadership position that I hold in The FA," added Haq, who advised the FA six years ago.
At the same time, he valued the role of soccer in bringing communities together and reducing existing tensions and then lamented the current war in the Middle East.
"Following the October 7 attacks by Hamas there are heightened emotions all around. I, like millions of others, have been deeply disturbed by the huge loss of life, this war has become a painful slaughter of innocent adults and children - a war that humanity should have avoided," he concluded.
Not only did his employment status change in English soccer, but he was also dismissed from his position at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), tennis's national governing body in Britain. He is also under investigation by the England Golf, where he holds a similar role to the FA.