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Spurs told to stop anti-semitic chants

by: Ben Simons - Last updated: 2012-11-07

Game at Tottenham

Game at Tottenham

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The Y Word

Premier League football team Tottenham Hotspur have been told to take action on their fans who chant Yid, Yiddo and other offensive 'Y' terms or face being reported to the police for racism.

The move by the society of Black Lawyers follows a campaign led by comedian and author David Baddiel to highlight the use of Yid as an anti-semitic term that is chanted at football grounds including Tottenham.

"What we are trying to do is change a culture. What we are saying to Tottenham is: Maybe this was okay 50 years ago - but it isn't now," said Peter Herbert, chairman of The society of Black Lawyers. "Even if it is from Tottenham supporters, it remains casual racism. We understand it is a difficult, and for some an uncomfortable, stance to take, but we feel it is the right stance."

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Herbert added: "In discussions with members of the Jewish community, we were made aware that this practice is still continuing and it has to come to an end."

In a statement, Tottenham said they wouldn't crackdown on its fans using the Y word.

"The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive chanting. Our guiding principle in respect of the "Y-word" is based on the point of law itself - the distinguishing factor is the intent with which it is used ie if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence."

"This has been the basis of prosecutions of fans of other teams to date. Our fans adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any offence, they use it a chant amongst themselves. The club believes that real anti-semitic abuse such as hissing to simulate the noise of gas chambers is the real evil and the real offence. We believe this is the area that requires a determined and concerted effort from all parties and where we seek greater support to eradicate."