Liga MX’s Atlas FC issued an apology Monday after a post from the team’s Twitter account referenced Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in an effort to argue for an offside call.
The call in question came from Atlas FC’s 1-0 win over New York City Football Club in Leagues Cup play on Sunday. The Leagues Cup pits teams from Mexico’s Liga MX against those from MLS. An NYCFC goal that would have tied the game at 1-1 was overturned via Video Assistant Referee because of an offside call.
Atlas FC’s Twitter account argued for the validity of the call while criticizing “influencers” and “analysts” for disputing it. The tweet sent Monday morning cited a disputed quote frequently attributed to Goebbels to make its case. It has since been deleted.
“This shot is clearer than water, the offside happens on the first play,” the tweet reads via translation from Spanish to English. “It is regrettable how ‘influencers’ and media ‘analysts’ manipulate, creating ideas of ‘supposed assistance,’ but remembering what Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Information (Hitler’s right-hand man), said and they apply it perfectly: ‘lie, lie, lie, and something will remain, the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.”
Atlas FC issued a statement Monday afternoon apologizing for the tweet and stating the club’s “solidarity, friendship and affection for the Jewish community.”
“We at Atlas FC are deeply sorry for any confusion that the use of a sensitive and unnecessary reference in a tweet this morning may have caused,” the statement reads via translation.
“WE REJECT and are against any value that said regime represented in one of the darkest times of humanity. It is precisely what should be avoided in all aspects.
“We reiterate our solidarity, friendship and affection for the Jewish community and all those who have been victims of barbarity as we reaffirm our commitment to work together as a society and stop defamation, distortion of information and lies as a petty way of seeking notoriety by harming others.
“We will open the relevant investigations to understand the origin of the tweet and we will act accordingly internally. We call for fair play also off the pitch, where we all add to the spectacle, co-existence and the development of our football.”
Podcaster and vlogger Gabriel Montiel Gutiérrez, who was tagged in the initial tweet from Atlas MX, expressed his dismay at the tweet in a response.
“Has something like this ever happened before?” Gutiérrez wrote, via translation. “Do you remember any team making a tweet of this kind? Clarifying a play to an ‘influencer’ (as they call them) and quoting a Nazi? I have never considered myself an ‘influencer,’ but it’s astonishing how they can influence an institution to do such a juggling act.”
The two accounts then engaged in a further back-and-forth with Atlas FC’s subsequent tweets having also since been deleted.