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Sportsman in hate speech row over Tottenham anti-Jew 'joke'

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Sportsman in hate speech row over Tottenham anti-Jew 'joke'
Mayborn keeps his eye on the ball in a recent match against Hammarby
10:41 CET+01:00
A Swedish bandy player has been reported for hate speech after calling for English Premier League side Liverpool to "push forward harder than the Germans did on the Night of the Broken Glass" in their recent match against Tottenham, a club he refers to as "the greedy Jews".

Alexander Mayborn, a Liverpool fan who plays ice sport bandy with Trollhättan club Gripen in Sweden's second division, infuriated sections of the Jewish community with his reference to Kristallnacht. Known in English as the Night of the Broken Glass, Kristallnacht was a 1938 pogrom against German and Austrian Jews widely thought to have formed the platform for Hitler's genocidal 'Final Solution'.

The sportsman later apologized for his outburst after being reported by the Jewish Community (Judiska Församlingen) for agitation against an ethnic group.

"We report all comments of this nature to the police as a service to our members. I understand that he has apologized on his blog but it's now up to the police to decide how to proceed," a spokesman for the Jewish Community's security division told The Local.

Mayborn followed up his January 20th blog post with a triumphant commentary the next day after Dirk Kuyt's two-goal haul sank Spurs, a club with strong roots in London's Jewish community.

"'Pool took three fantastic points against the Jews," wrote Mayborn.

But the bandy player's joy was short-lived, as he was soon made aware that a report against him had been filed with the police.

As the pressure mounted, Mayborn responded with two apologetic posts on Monday, distancing himself from the Nazi movement and explaining that the initial post was "clearly a joke".

"I think Nazis and racists are the worst thing in the world. Unfortunately somebody had a problem with this joke and thought it was in bad taste. Naturally I apologize if anybody has taken offence," he wrote.

Bandy is related to ice hockey, but is an older sport and is played on a rink the size of a football pitch. A curved stick is used to hit a small ball into a goal.

Alexander Mayborn was not immediately available for comment when sought by The Local on Tuesday morning.

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