Belfast Telegraph

Police probing anti-Semitic chanting by Hammers fans

'Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said yesterday they are investigating and appealed for information' (stock photo)
'Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said yesterday they are investigating and appealed for information' (stock photo)

By Pat Hurst

Police are investigating fans seen on video chanting anti-Semitic slurs before the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham on Saturday.

West Ham have vowed to ban for life a group of supporters filmed singing the abuse.

In the latest in a series of alleged racist incidents this week, the fans were filmed singing an abusive song about London rivals Tottenham, who have a large Jewish following, on a tram before the Hammers' match at Old Trafford.

The short clip has since been shared thousands of times on social media and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said yesterday they are investigating and appealed for information.

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Boyce of GMP said: "Racism of any kind has no place in our society and I would like to reassure the public that we are taking this matter extremely seriously.

"Here in Manchester we pride ourselves on making sure fans from far and wide are welcomed and it is disappointing that a small few have brought shame on football in this way.

"Let me be really clear - racial abuse will not be tolerated and anyone that partakes in this kind of behaviour can expect to be investigated by the police.

"We welcome West Ham United's statement which quite rightly condemns these disgusting and abhorrent slurs and we will endeavour to work closely with them to identify those in the video and I would also ask anyone with any footage of the incident or information they think can help us in our enquires to please contact us immediately."

Shortly after the footage appeared on social media, West Ham issued a statement which read: "We are disgusted by the contents of the video circulating on social media this evening.

"We are taking immediate action to try to identify the offenders, whose details we will be handing over to the police and will be banned for life from London Stadium and from travelling with the club.

"West Ham United is unequivocal in its stance - there is no place for this kind of behaviour at our club. We do not want people like this associated with West Ham United.

"They are not welcome at our club, they are not welcome in civilised society."

Equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out tweeted: "We received a report of a video of a group of West Ham fans chanting vile antisemitic abuse today.

"We welcome the swift and positive response of @WestHamUtd and support the club's determination to ban the perpetrators."

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