05 Mar FA boss Martin Glenn criticised for ‘offensive’ explanation of Guardiola charge
Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn has been criticised for his “ill-judged”, “offensive” and “inappropriate” explanation of his organisation’s response to Pep Guardiola’s yellow ribbon.
In trying to justify the FA’s decision to charge Guardiola with “wearing a political message”, Glenn appeared to equate the Star of David with a swastika.
Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson said: “I have no problem with The FA clarifying Rule 4 and specifying that ALL religious symbols are prohibited on a kit if that is the case.
“But, in explaining that decision, the CEO of The FA’s examples are ill judged and in poor taste.
“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.
“We will raise formally with The FA the Jewish community’s deep disappointment with this statement.”
Manchester City boss Guardiola has until 6pm on Monday to respond to the FA charge relating to the ribbon, which he wears in support of two political leaders who were imprisoned following Catalonia’s independence referendum last October.
Glenn defended the move, insisting comparisons cannot be made with sides choosing to display a poppy on their shirt to commemorate Armistice Day.
“We have rewritten Law 4 of the game so that things like a poppy are OK but things that are going to be highly divisive are not,” Glenn said in a number of national newspapers.
“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.”