Wasim Haq: British tennis chiefs sack inclusion advisor who said ‘Hitler would be proud of Netanyahu’

A ball kid keeps tennis ball during the men's singles quarter-final match between Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karen Khachanov on day five of the Paris ATP Masters 1000 tennis tournament at the Accor Arena - Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy - in Paris on November 3, 2023. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP) (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)
Wasim Haq was dismissed by the LTA over his social media post about Benjamin Netanyahu
Wasim Haq was dismissed by the LTA over his social media post about Benjamin Netanyahu

Diversity and inclusion advisor Wasim Haq has been dismissed by the Lawn Tennis Association after provoking outrage by claiming that “Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu”.

Haq’s roles on the Football Association Council and the board of England Golf are also under pressure over his inflammatory post on social media over the weekend.

“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,” the governing body for British tennis said.

“Therefore the board has agreed that Wasim Haq will be removed from his role as an independent councillor with immediate effect.”

In a post he later deleted, Haq wrote of Israel’s prime minister: “Netanyahu has sacrificed his own people to maintain power… whilst Palestinians are trying to maintain their sanity. Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Haq subsequently apologised, writing: “I am NOT antisemitic and have never been accused of being so. I unreservedly apologise if this was taken in any other way.”

His position on the FA Council remains under heavy scrutiny, however, after Lord Wolfson KC, chair of the FA’s Football Regulatory Authority complained to chief executive Debbie Hewitt.

“Using the language of Nazism to attack Jews 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,” he said. “It is something to be treated with the utmost seriousness.”