British soccer boss suspended for saying Jews chase money
Menu JTA Search

British soccer boss suspended for saying Jews chase money

(JTA) — The English Football Association punished the owner of a British soccer club over anti-Semitic and racist slurs.

Dave Whelan, who owns the Wigan Athletic Football Club near Manchester, was banned from all soccer-related activities for six weeks and fined $78,000 in a decision announced on Wednesday. Whelan was also ordered to participate in an educational program run by the Football Association

Whelan has seven days to appeal the penalty, though the Football Association said in a statement that he has accepted the punishment.

In November, Whelan, 78,  told Britain’s Guardian newspaper, “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else.” He also used the term “chink” to describe a foreign businessman.

Whelan was defending his decision to name Malky Mackay as the club’s manager despite a British Football Association inquiry into Mackay for alleged racism and anti-Semitism in email and text exchanges.

Whelan apologized in an interview with the BBC a day after his remarks were published.

The Football Association’s Independent Regulatory Commission acknowledged that: “Mr. Whelan  is not  a  racist as can be seen from his business life as well as his private life including his support of charities.”

He donated nearly $8,000 to the Brookvale organization for the Mentally Handicapped, a Jewish organization which helps with care for the mentally handicapped.