Football Association Chief Executive issues apology for equating swastika and Star of David

Football Association’s Chief Executive Martin Glenn has apologized for his remarks equating symbols such as the Star of David and swastikas in a mutual ban for religious and political symbols at soccer games. The Jewish Leadership Council condemned Glenn’s remarks.
Swastikas (archive) Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash 90

On Monday, the Football Association’s (FA) Chief Executive Martin Glenn issued an apology for stating that the FA does not want any representation of religious or political symbols at games. Glenn made a controversial comment yesterday when he mentioned the Star of David, swastikas and pictures of ex-Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe in the same sentence as he explained what the association does not want to see at games.

Jewish organizations such as the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) condemned Glenn’s remarks. The CEO of the JLC, Simon Johnson, stated, “The Star of David is a Jewish religious symbol of immense importance to Jews worldwide. To put it in the same bracket as the swastika and Robert Mugabe is offensive and inappropriate.”

Johnson posted a statement after speaking with Glenn, "I spoke to Martin Glenn today. I explained why his comments yesterday had caused such serious offence. Martin apologised, explained the context for his comments and stated that he did not intend to cause offence, which I accepted. We have agreed to meet soon along with the CST. I have thanked the FA for their apology and I am glad that this has been dealt with swiftly."

Glenn apologized in a statement, “I would like to apologise for any offence caused by the examples I gave when referring to political and religious symbols in football, specifically in reference to the Star of David, which is a hugely important symbol to Jewish people all over the world.”

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