Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Spurs fans persist with 'Yid' chant

Thousands of Tottenham Hotspur fans have defied police warnings not to use the word ''Yid'' in chants.

The Spurs faithful chanted "We'll sing what we want" and "Yid Army" at the game against West Ham United at White Hart Lane, north London.

One Tottenham fan was arrested after t he Metropolitan Police pledged they would be "on the look out" for football supporters who used the word and Chief Superintendent Mick Johnson, the match commander, insisted that "racism and offensive language have no place in football".

Officers spoke about the issue with fans on their way into the stadium.

The club has a strong Jewish following and its fans have been on the receiving end of anti-Semitic abuse from opposition supporters for many years.

In an act of defiance, some started using the word ''Yid'' themselves.

At the game home fans hailed their own star players by shouting ''Yiddo'' at them. ''Jermain Defoe, he's a Yiddo'' was often heard throughout the match.

On one occasion when Spurs fans sang ''Yids'', West Ham supporters responded with loud shouts of ''Racists! Racists!''

Police arrested one Tottenham supporter o n suspicion of using threatening, abusive or insulting words under section 5 of the Public Order Act.

He was held at half time in the stadium's East Stand.

Speaking before the game, Mr Johnson said: " This topic has been debated at length but our position is clear: racism and offensive language have no place in football or indeed in society.

"Those supporters who engage in such behaviour should be under no illusion that they may be committing an offence and may be liable to a warning or be arrested."

Last month David Cameron said Spurs fans who use the word "Yid" should not face prosecution.

The Prime Minister told The Jewish Chronicle: ''There's a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult.

''You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted - but only when it's motivated by hate.''

The game ended in a 3-0 victory for West Ham.


From Belfast Telegraph