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Fury after football match involving young Jewish players is abandoned because parents ‘refused to let their children play them’ – as probe is launched into ‘anti-Semitic incident’


  • A football match involving Jewish players was abandoned as probe launched
  • It is alleged parents refused to let their children play against other Jewish kids 

A Football Association today launched an investigation after a youth match involving a Jewish team had to be abandoned because opposition parents refused to let their children play against them.

Parents of two players from the under-14 team Panthera pulled their children out of the match against a team called the Maccabi Lions because the team contained Jewish players, it is claimed.

The match in the Watford Friendly league had to be abandoned as the Hertfordshire-based Panthera team could only field nine players.

Coaches from the Maccabi Lions were told by the opposition their parents had not wanted their children to play against a Jewish side.

Parents of two players from the under 14 team Panthera pulled their children out of the match against a team called the Maccabi Lions because the team contained Jewish players, it is claimed. (Stock photo)

Parents of two players from the under 14 team Panthera pulled their children out of the match against a team called the Maccabi Lions because the team contained Jewish players, it is claimed. (Stock photo)

One parent told MailOnline: ‘It is utterly shameful and a horrible display of antisemitism. It wasn’t the 13-year-olds who didn’t want to play, but their parents.’

The Middlesex FA have launched an investigation into the abandoned match.

A spokesman said they were consulting with the Football Association over what action to take.

Both clubs declined to comment.

But Panthera FC issued a strongly worded statement on their website saying they are opposed to any racism or discrimination.

‘Panthera Football Club want to make it unequivocally clear that as a club, we do not tolerate any form of racism, discrimination, or abuse of any kind,’ it said.

‘We stand firmly against all manifestations of racism and are dedicated to promoting a culture of inclusivity and unity. We believe that football is for everyone.

‘It should be enjoyed by anyone who wants to participate in it, whether as a player, official, staff member, volunteer or spectator.

‘We aim to bring people together in a way that supports positive change, makes people feel valued and improves the lives of people both on and off the pitch.

The match in the Watford Friendly league had to be abandoned as the Hertfordshire-based Maccabi Lions team could only field nine players

‘Our commitment to inclusivity is woven into the fabric of who we are as a club, and this is reflected in the diversity of our coaches, members and their families.

‘We join hands with those who are working tirelessly to eliminate racism from the beautiful game and from society as a whole and are committed to creating an environment where the richness of diversity is celebrated, and where prejudice has no place.

‘Any form of racism, intimidation, discrimination or abuse has no place at Panthera Football Club and will be investigated fully and may result in removal from our club.

‘Please remember we are dealing with children, and we are all responsible for the safeguarding and wellbeing of children and we take this role very seriously.

Pictured, the club logo for Panthera FC

Pictured, the logo for London Lions FC

The match in the Watford Friendly league had to be abandoned as the Hertfordshire based Maccabi Lions team could only field nine players

We will not tolerate, as with any racism or discrimination, any incidents of intimidation by or against any member of the club and especially against children and any reports of this will also be investigated and reported to the Middlesex FA and may result in removal from the club.’

Maccabi Lions is a Barnet-based junior club associated with Maccabi London FC, which has over half a dozen teams from under 8s to under 18.

The under-14 side play in the Watford Friendly League organised by the Middlesex Football Association.

A spokesman for the Middlesex FA said: ‘We are speaking with both clubs involved and an investigation will be carried out. We have yet to receive any communication from the Maccabi Lions.

‘We will consult with the Football Association over what action to be taken.’



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