England football fans’ group investigated over alleged ‘antisemitism’

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England football fans’ group investigated over alleged ‘antisemitism’

Jewish fan angered after England supporter allegedly condemned UK government attempts to ban Hamas in supporters WhatsApp group as 'PC gone mad'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Online posts made by a member of an England football fans’ group are the subject of an FA investigation into claims of alleged antisemitism.

The probe reportedly involves comments made in relation to attempts by the UK government to fully proscribe the Islamic terror group Hamas.

A member of the Block 109 group, set up by supporters who sit in the same section at matches, and who is also a member of the official England Supporters’ TravelClub, is being investigated by the FA over comments made to a Jewish supporter.

It is claimed the supporter at the centre of the probe had posted on the Block 109 WhatsApp group that the Hamas ban was “PC gone mad.”

When another 109 group member, who is Jewish, queried an apparent attempt to excuse the group’s activities he received the reply: “Spot on”.

The Times reported the Jewish fan replied: “If you agree with that not only are you an antisemite but you are a supporter of Islamo-fascism.”

The other England fan responded: “I’ve been upgraded. Get in.”

In a statement released to The Times Block 109 group claimed “there were no references to Hamas as part of these messages”.

They also said the exchange was “reviewed extensively with representatives of the Football Supporters’ Association, Kick It Out and Love Football Hate Racism”, separately providing guidance they received from the latter stating that the messages were not antisemitic.

But Kick It Out said that it offered no such guidance.

“We received a report last year around this case and it was passed to the FA to deal with and decide on the appropriate sanctions for the individuals concerned,” Kick It Out added.

Both the anti-discrimination group and FA investigators were reportedly unaware of the exchange now made public at that time.

Some Block 109 members – although not the fan under investigation – have been paid by Qatar to attend the World Cup.

England Block 109 supporters  sit together in a section of the east stand at Wembley. Earlier posts included the use of a racial stereotype mocking Rishi Sunak, are already being investigated by the FA.

Jewish News has contacted the FA for comment.


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