Anti-Semitism: FA take 'important step' in fight against discrimination

Wembley Stadium's famous arch
On Wednesday night, Wembley Stadium's arch will be illuminated purple to mark UK Holocaust Memorial Day

The Football Association says adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of anti-Semitism is an "important step" in tackling discrimination.

It ensures a consistent view across the game about conduct or comments that may be deemed anti-Semitic, says the FA.

Clubs and organisations have also adopted the definition.

"The impact of this will be felt far and wide," said Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council.

In February last year, Jewish charity the Community Security Trust said the number of anti-Semitic hate incidents recorded in the UK reached a record high.

Last week, Celtic condemned "vile" online anti-Semitic abuseexternal-link aimed at Israel international Nir Bitton following a defeat by Rangers.

The IHRA's working definition of anti-Semitism says: "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.

"Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

In September, anti-racism charity Kick It Out revealed a 42% increase in reports of all types of discrimination in English professional football in the 2018-19 season, describing the findings as "shocking".

The FA said formally adopting the working definition of anti-Semitism was an illustration of its "ongoing commitment" to tackling anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.

"Promoting equality has long been a priority for the FA as we strive for a game that is a truly safe and inclusive environment for all," said FA chief executive officer Mark Bullingham.

"We will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and everyone within football to reaffirm the message that anti-Semitic behaviour is completely unacceptable."

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