LONDON: Martin Glenn, ceo of the Football Association, has apologised for “any offence” after comparing the Star of David with symbols such as the Nazi swastika.
Glenn had made his initial comments while commenting on the charge facing Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola who has been wearing a yellow ribbon in support of imprisoned politicians in Catalonia.
He said “we don’t want” the Jewish Star of David, swastika, or ex-Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe on a shirt. Glenn’s comment prompted a complaint from the Jewish Leadership Council that the comparison was “in poor taste”.
The Star of David is on Israel’s flag, its national team shirt and FA logo.
Glenn acknowledged, in his apology, that the Star of David “is a hugely important symbol to Jewish people all over the world” and that he would “be speaking with the Jewish Leadership Council and to Kick It Out to personally apologise”.
Guardiola, a former Barcelona player and coach, was given two formal warnings about the issue in December before being charged by the FA last month. He has until 6pm to respond to a charge of breaching kit and advertising regulations.
Glenn, explaining the charge, had said: “You can’t have, and we don’t want, football equipment to display political symbols. To be very clear, his yellow ribbon is a political symbol, it’s a symbol of Catalan independence.
“We have re-written Law Four of the game so that things like a poppy are OK. But things that are going to be highly divisive, and that could be strong religious symbols – it could be the Star of David, it could the hammer and sickle, it could be a swastika, anything like Robert Mugabe on your shirt – these are the things we don’t want.”