England's Liverpool Football Club has deleted a tweet wishing its Jewish supporters a happy new year after the team's Twitter feed was inundated with anti-Semitic responses.
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On Friday, the Premier League club tweeted “Liverpool FC would like to wish all our Jewish supporters around the world a happy new year. #RoshHashanah,” in honor of the Jewish High Holy Day.
Kick It Out, soccer's equality and inclusion organization, contacted the club's officials after receiving a number of complaints, according to The Guardian. However, Liverpool FC claims the tweet was deleted independent of any advice from Kick It Out.
A club spokesperson said: “Due to a number of offensive comments that were attached to a tweet on the official LFC twitter account, the tweet and comments have since been removed from the account.”
A spokesperson for Kick It Out said: “It is encouraging that a football club recognizes these holidays and religious landmarks – Liverpool did the same for Ramadan – but extremely sad when a club does that in a proactive manner and gets these responses. Premier League clubs appeal to supporters around the world and it would have been nice for Liverpool’s Jewish supporters to see this message from their club, that’s the bigger issue. It should be welcomed that clubs are doing this is in a proactive manner.”
Liverpool has recently faced an additional Twitter-related controversy, after star Italian striker Mario Balotelli received a torrent of racist tweets after poking fun at the struggling Manchester United club.
Earlier this year, London police investigated a series of anti-Semitic tweets posted following a Football Association Cup game between rival soccer teams Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. A fan was arrested several months later at a Tottenham match was arrested for shouting anti-Semitic slurs.