LTA axes council member Wasim Haq over social media post claiming ‘Hitler proud of Netanyahu’

The Football Association are investigating Haq’s post on social media

Harry Latham-Coyle
Monday 13 November 2023 18:24 GMT
<p>The LTA has removed council member Wasim Haq </p>

The LTA has removed council member Wasim Haq

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has removed council member Wasim Haq after a social media post that said “Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu”.

Haq also holds positions with England Golf and the Football Association (FA).

He apologised and subsequently deleted a post made on X, formerly Twitter, that referenced the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, denying he was antisemitic.

Netanyanhu is in a third spell as prime minister of Israel, which has retaliated after being attacked by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on 7 October.

“Netanyahu has sacrificed his own people to maintain power,” Haq’s post read. “Whilst #Palestinians are trying to maintain their sanity. Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu.”

The LTA said 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 have agreed that Wasim Haq will be removed from his role as an independent councillor with immediate effect.”

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

The FA, of which Haq is a council member, continue to investigate the comment. He joined the FA as a “BAME Football Communities Representative” in 2019.

“Taking down the tweet and apologising is the minimum,” said Lord Wolfson, who chairs the organisation’s Football Regulatory Committee. “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.”

Having deleted the post over the weekend, Haq said: “It has been brought to my attention that a tweet I published yesterday has caused offence. I have deleted the tweet and apologise unreservedly to anyone that has felt offended.”

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