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wasim haq

England Golf director resigns after “Hitler” row

Wasim Haq has stepped down from the governing body’s board of directors following an internal investigation

 

The England Golf director who wrote the foreword to the organisation’s strategic framework for equality, diversity, and inclusion has resigned after posting on social media that “Adolf Hitler would be proud of Benjamin Netanyahu”.

Wasim Haq, a senior independent director who joined the England Golf board at the end of 2021, made the post, which referred to Israel’s war with Hamas and was later deleted, on Twitter/X.

He has stepped down following the conclusion of the governing body’s internal investigation of the comment. The 55-year-old has also resigned from his position as an FA Council member and was removed as an independent councillor of the Lawn Tennis Association.

In #Togetheringolf: Making Golf More Inclusive, Haq wrote: “We must confront uncomfortable perceptions about our game – and be united in our mission to improve things for the future. Inclusivity lies at the heart of England Golf’s existing Course Planning strategy and in everything we strive to do as an organisation.

“But everyone involved in our game – clubs, counties, golfers, industry partners, staff and volunteers – has a crucial role to play.”

England Golf

England Golf: ‘Wasim has now resigned from his position as a Director…’

Haq posted on X, on November 11: “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.”

He subsequently apologised for his comments, writing on X: “My tweet was directly in relation to comparing two individuals who in my eyes have caused contemporary and historical irreparable harm to victimised communities on both sides of this tragic conflict.

“I am not and have never been the kind of person that targets anyone or any community over any difference ever. I am NOT antisemitic and have never been accused of being so. I unreservedly apologise if this was taken in any other way.”

In a letter resigning from the FA Council to Debbie Hewitt, chair of the Football Association, Haq wrote: “Recent events have left me bereft of energy and hope. I have felt overwhelmed at how this has transpired.”

He added that he took “full responsibility and reiterate my apology to them and all those affected”.

Haq is a keen golfer, having been introduced to the game by his father-in-law in his 30s, and is a single-figure handicapper at Royal Wimbledon.

An England Golf statement said: “Following the conclusion of England Golf’s internal investigation of a comment made by Wasim Haq on social media, Wasim has now resigned from his position as a Director of England Golf.

“We would like to thank Wasim for his service since joining the board of England Golf.”

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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