Belfast Telegraph

West Ham fans sing anti-Semitic chants and tease disabled people after mocking racist Chelsea mob

Warning: Contains offensive content

West Ham United's Cheikhou Kouyate scores the opening goal
West Ham United's Cheikhou Kouyate scores the opening goal

By Ali Gordon

A complaint has been lodged by former Republic of Ireland star Kevin Kilbane that West Ham fans mocked disabled people after a video emerged of alleged West Ham fans chanting an anti-Semitic song on the London Underground on their way to a 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

Kevin Kilbane has made an official complaint to the Football Association after West Ham fans allegedly used insulting language mocking disabled people.

Hammers fans are reported to have chanted "Harry Kane talks like a m**g and plays like one too", during the 2-2 draw against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The word "m**g" is a derogatory slang term for people with learning disabilities.

Kilbane, who made 110 appearances for the Republic, was not present at the match but was informed of the language by a close friend and has since contacted the FA.

Kilbane's 10-year-old daughter, Elsie, has Down's Syndrome, and the former Sunderland, Everton and Wigan winger is a patron of the Down's Syndrome Association charity.

He said in the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror: "I am sure they understand they are causing offence. You cannot sweep it under the carpet and label it as ignorance. It is visible and clear and like racist or homophobic chanting, it is intended to cause offence.

"I want to be able to take my kids to football matches and when Elsie gets older she will understand about her condition and I would not want her to hear that kind of chanting. If her sister Isla heard it, she would be devastated too, as my friend's sons were.

"I spoke to him and he was extremely upset and I felt I had to report it. No family should have to put up with it at football matches.

"It was very clear and sadly it appeared to be from a large number of West Ham fans in the ground. This was not isolated to a handful of people.

"This is a wider society problem, not just a problem with football and idiots are using football as a tool to show their ignorance and discrimination.

"I have spoken to the FA and they have assured me they will investigate it thoroughly. In all my time playing and watching football, I have never heard this before. Hopefully we can do something to make sure it isn't again and this awful chant does not spread."

The video filmed of alleged West Ham fans, which appeared on social media, clearly shows a group singing: "I've got a foreskin, how about you? F****** Jew."

It was filmed shortly before West Ham had reminded fans attending the game at White Hart Lane that they had "a zero tolerance policy towards any form of discriminatory behaviour".

Passengers on the train have claimed that the incident took place at Stamford Hill, an area of London with a large Jewish community.

Ironically, the horrifying video emerged on the same day another group of West Ham fans uploaded a video of themselves mocking racist Chelsea who last week were caught on camera pushing a black man off the Paris Metro while chanting a racist song.

The Chelsea fans' actions were filmed by a British man who was standing on the platform ahead of Chelsea's Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain, which ended 1-1.

''We're racist and that's the way we like it'' was clearly audible on a video of the incident and local man Richard Barklie (50), a former RUC officer originally from Carrickfergus, has already been identified in the video. Barklie, who is a director of a worldwide human rights organisation which lectures on racial tolerance around the globe, has strongly denied his involvement in the racist chanting.

West Ham made a parody video of the shocking Chelsea train incident to prove that their club does not racially discriminate. In the video, which has been endorsed by West Ham fan and comedian Russell Brand, West Ham fans allow a black man onto the train.

But their light-hearted and heartwarming video has been shadowed by the anti-Semitic actions of the other alleged West Ham fans.

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out has contacted police after video footage surfaced.

Kick it Out said in a statement: "Kick It Out has received several reports via social media about the footage and will be liaising with British Transport Police on the matter. In addition, we have been informed of a number of anti-Semitic tweets which we are reporting to the police."

A Tottenham spokesperson said today: "Anti-Semitism in any form is wholly unacceptable and we support all efforts to kick it out of the game.

"We hope that those individuals responsible for this vile behaviour are identified and dealt with in the strongest way possible."

British Transport Police have also issued a statement asking for information or footage on the incident, which occured at Stamford Hill in north London.

It read: “We take these incidents very seriously, and it is clear what happened on the Paris Metro and at St Pancras the following night were not isolated events.

“Anyone who has information or video that would help us our investigation should contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040, by text, on 61016, quoting reference 420 of 22/2/15.”

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