A professional British footballer has been banned for six matches and fined £3,500 for tweeting about the Rothschilds in a post deemed antisemitic.
Tom Pope, who plays for Port Vale, was posting on the social media site in January after scoring against Manchester City in the FA Cup when he was asked by another Twitter user to “predict the WWIII result”.
In a tweet he later deleted, Pope replied: “We invade Iran then Cuba then North Korea then the Rothchilds [sic] are crowned champions of every bank on the planet.”
The Football Association ban and fine were levied after Pope was found guilty of Rule E3, an “aggravated” breach of the FA’s regulation on abusive speech, but his club, currently playing in League Two, said it would appeal.
The FA tribunal said Pope “had watched hundreds of conspiracy theory videos about the 9/11 attacks” and “found the videos convincing in predicting the invasions of four countries,” namely Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Sudan.
“He believed, based on those videos, that the Rothschild banking business had funded the invasions of eight countries so as to be able to take over their banks.
“The ordinary reasonable person knows very well that the Rothschild family have been used for centuries as a synecdoche for the Jewish people, maligning the family in discourse in order to malign all Jewish people.”
Port Vale said it was “naturally disappointed” and would appeal, adding: “We are pleased that the tribunal acknowledged that there was no antisemitic intent on Tom’s part in posting the tweet concerned.”