English FA Council Member Steps Down Following Controversial Social Media Post Regarding Conflict in Gaza

LONDON: A council member at the English Football Association who made an inappropriate post regarding the war in Gaza resigned from his position on Thursday.

Wasim Haq had been suspended for the comments he made this month on the social platform X, formerly known as Twitter, which reportedly referred to Adolf Hitler and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The post was deleted and Haq apologized.

“This morning I have resigned from The FA. I have also reiterated my apology to the Jewish community,” Haq posted on X. “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.”

Haq joined the FA Council in 2019 as a representative for the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community. He was removed from a similar role on the Lawn Tennis Association Council last week.

On Thursday, Haq shared his resignation letter, sent to FA chair Debbie Hewitt.

“I have felt overwhelmed at how this has transpired,” he wrote. “As someone who has worked closely with many Jewish people over the years and created meaningful and valued 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 I have unintentionally caused. I take full responsibility and reiterate my apology to them and all those affected.

“My comment was a direct criticism of a politician, not about a race or a religious group. In expressing these feelings, I chose the wrong words entirely and that has impacted the leadership position that I hold at the The FA.”

Haq said he planned “direct personal engagement with members of the Jewish community to share and understand.”

He also offered to help the FA to develop a “systematic process” to “bring communities together in the future.”


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer