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: ‘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.”
This morning I have resigned from The FA. I have also reiterated my apology to the Jewish community.
This war has left thousands dead, many of us are in despair and deeply troubled.
I hope football can play a future role in easing tensions between communities.
Pls read ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/lqXUU5lDdQ
— Wasim Haq 🏴🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@wasim_haq) November 23, 2023
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.”