Scunthorpe United manager Brian Laws apologises after Holocaust reference
Scunthorpe United's Brian Laws has apologised after labelling his team's defending as 'as bad as the Holocaust'.
The Iron boss sparked a furious reaction from BBC radio listeners when he made the remarks on the back of Saturday's 4-0 defeat at rivals Doncaster Rovers.
Laws' comments came 24 hours before a section of West Ham fans were heard chanting the name of Adolf Hitler and making hissing noises in reference to the gas chambers during their loss against Spurs.
Laws, via a statement on the Iron's website, said today: "I would like to apologise. The use of the word was not intended to cause offence and was used in the heat of the moment, in the frustration of the defeat.
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"It was a poor choice of language to define those emotions and wasn't meant in the true meaning of the word."
His comments at the Keepmoat Stadium - and the actions of some Hammers fans - have been condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
In a statement, they wrote: 'The Board of Deputies of British Jews utterly condemns and is dismayed by reports of antisemitic chanting by West Ham United fans at yesterday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur.
"Antisemitism has no place in football or society in general.
"For football fans to use Holocaust imagery and chants glorifying Adolf Hitler is grossly offensive to the Jewish community and is a stain upon the character of British football.
"Events at White Hart Lane yesterday and comments on Saturday by the Scunthorpe United manager describing his team’s defending as being "as bad as the Holocaust" confirm that this phenomenon is not confined to the Continent.
"Clearly there is either a lack of understanding or a lack of compassion within some sections of the British football world about these issues; a lack of understanding or compassion which needs to be addressed.
"We will be writing to the Football Association to urge them to punish those responsible for these chants and to take further steps to rid our national game of these slurs."