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28 Nov, 2021 17:41

Ex-Chelsea and England star Cole apologizes for Holocaust reference

Ex-Chelsea and England star Cole apologizes for Holocaust reference

Former Chelsea forward Carlton Cole has apologized after he said that West Ham risked a 'Holocaust' if they didn't pick a defensive side against Man City in remarks which came on the first day of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

Cole, who won seven England caps in a career which also saw him represent Aston Villa and West Ham, made the remarks on the BBC Radio 5 Live radio station in the build up to the Hammers' away trip to Pep Guardiola's free-scoring side.

Asked if West Ham boss David Moyes had selected an overly-defensive team for the match against the Premier League champions, Cole said that it was a necessary step against such a potent offense – but did so using offensive terminology.

"You can say he has gone a bit negative. Why not?" Cole said on the broadcast.

"You've got to give Man City some respect otherwise you're going to get picked off.

"Otherwise it will be a Holocaust, and you don't want that."

Cole later apologized for his remarks on the show: "I'd like to apologize to the listeners for a totally unacceptable phrase that I used earlier.

"I'm sorry if I've offended anybody, really and truly. Sorry."

The Holocaust was the mass genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II, during which an estimated six million people were killed.

Cole's comments come just weeks after Joey Barton, the manager of English fourth-tier side Bristol Rovers, also issued an apology for referencing the Holocaust during a post-match interview.

"I said to the lads during the week, 'the team's almost like musical chairs," Barton said. "Someone gets in and does well but then gets suspended or injured.

"Someone gets in for a game, does well but then has a Holocaust, a nightmare, an absolute disaster."

Barton later said that there was "no malice or offense intended" in his remarks and promised to make use of "better analogies in future".

Manchester City beat West Ham 2-1 in the game Cole was discussing.