The British government’s antisemitism advisor Lord Mann has taken FIFA to task for refusing to tackle antisemitism at the World Cup.
“FIFA were asked to facilitate, by the national antisemitism envoys, at no cost to FIFA, two Jewish observers at the World Cup to spot and advise on any issues of anti-Jewish hatred. They declined to do so,” Man said on Twitter.
“This World Cup has already not covered itself in glory. FIFA’s track record on antisemitism has not been good. But there’s a strong, and particularly vile message here: Jews don’t count,” Mann told the Jewish Chronicle.
Along with Mann, antisemitism envoys from the United States, Ambassador Deobrah Lipstadt; Canada, Irwin Cotler; Germany, Dr Felix Klein; and Israel’s special envoy on the delegitimization of Israel, Noa Tishby addressed a letter sent several months ago to FIFA, the Chronicle reported.
The letter inquired about bringing two antisemitism observers to the World Cup in Qatar, with no additional financial obligations on the part of FIFA. There was no response.
The letter asked FIFA to “include experts on antisemitism and anti-Jewish hatred” in its anti-discrimination monitoring group at the World Cup. It reminded FIFA of Article 3 of its FIFA Statutes which states that the organization “commits to respecting all internationally recognized human rights and shall strive to promote the protection of these rights.”
The letter alerted FIFA to the fact that “there is no specific expertise on antisemitism built into the monitoring arrangements.”
“We propose an open and sincere discussion on this topic and would welcome a meeting at your earliest convenience to engage further on this important matter,” it concluded.
“We weren’t asking FIFA to pay for anything. We followed it up three or four times in the following months and all we got back was absolute silence. It beggars belief,” Mann said.