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COMMUNIST Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths slammed Football Association chief Martin Glenn today for his offensive comments towards communists.
In trying to justify the FA’s decision to charge Man City boss Pep Guardiola over the ribbon, which he wears in support of two imprisoned leaders of the Catalan independence movement, Glenn equated the Star of David with a swastika.
However, while Glenn was forced to apologise for his offensive comment to Jewish people, he failed to apologise to communists after also comparing the swastika to the hammer and sickle.
Griffiths called on Glenn to apologise to those who died fighting against the nazis.
He told the Star: “Martin Glenn also owes an apology to the millions of communists who died in the struggle against the swastika, not least in the Soviet Red Army as it fought to liberate Auschwitz-Birkenau and the other nazi death camps in eastern Europe.”
The Holocaust Educational Trust’s chief executive Karen Pollock labelled Glenn’s initial comments “astounding and highly offensive,” adding: “It shows a huge lack of understanding around the difference between the Star of David — a religious symbol — and the swastika used by the nazis.”
Glenn’s apology came hours after the Jewish Leadership Council reacted to his comments at the weekend.
“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,” he said.
“I will be speaking with the Jewish Leadership Council and to Kick It Out to personally apologise.”
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.”
Guardiola had until last night to respond to the FA charge relating to the ribbon.
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.”
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