Harry Redknapp 'disgusted' at racist 'filth' as West Ham issue life ban

Former Spurs and Hammers manager leads condemnation of 'cowardly' chants at White Hart Lane

West Ham United issued their first life ban to a supporter following the anti-Semitic chanting towards Tottenham fans at White Hart Lane on the day that the former manager of both clubs, Harry Redknapp, labelled the fans that sing such "filth" as "cowards".

The Football Association also acted on Monday, opening its investigation into the reported anti-Semitism. Both West Ham and Tottenham last night pledged complete cooperation with the authorities, while the Metropolitan Police responded to a complaint of their own.

Redknapp, who has just taken over at Queen's Park Rangers, said that the level of abuse directed at managers and other supporters had reached dangerous levels. "When they [fans] are on their own they are probably different people but when they are together it's filth, it's disgusting," the 65-year-old said. "People have to stand there and take it. They chant at managers, at players, at each other, it's nothing to do with football. You grow up watching football because you love the game, but if you asked half of them what happened in the game they probably wouldn't know; they're probably not even watching it. They're chanting at each other. We've all had it plenty of it at various times. They are just cowards who get in a group."

The police issued cautions on Sunday to two West Ham fans for racially aggravated gesturing, thought to be Nazi salutes, inside White Hart Lane. West Ham confirmed last night that they had identified one of those fans and issued him with a life ban from the club. The other individual can expect the same response. West Ham's Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun said he was "very disappointed" to hear the "embarrassing" chants.

The FA also confirmed last night that it was investigating the reports of abusive chanting, with the FA governance department in touch with both clubs.

Tottenham promised to provide "100 per cent assistance" to the FA's investigation and Spurs will send the CCTV footage to the FA to help identify the culprits. West Ham also expect to receive a copy of the footage to help with their enquiries. "We are currently compiling a full report for the Football Association," a Tottenham club spokesman said, "and shall be submitting this with all our evidence including the relevant CCTV footage."

West Ham also have access to the records of who bought which tickets in the away end at White Hart Lane, although not all fans sit in their allocated seats. The club were keen to impress last night that the shameful conduct was limited to pockets of their fans, but that those responsible will be banned.

"West Ham United will take the strongest possible action against any of their supporters," a club statement said, "including enforcing life bans from the club, that are found guilty of behaviour which is categorically not condoned by West Ham United.

"During the 46 games in the Championship last season, West Ham United had zero arrests for racism or violence, so while we are surprised to see such reports today, we will examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the appropriate action."

Benayoun expressed his sadness last night. "I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing," he wrote on Twitter. "But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I'm sure the FA together with West Ham United will do everything to find and punish them." Five other West Ham fans were arrested outside White Hart Lane on Sunday for unrelated incidents.

The Metropolitan Police received a complaint by telephone yesterday morning. It did not come from the Society of Black Lawyers, who have made high-profile complaints about racism in the recent past, including over the use of "yid" by Spurs fans at White Hart Lane. The Board of Deputies of British Jews urged the FA to take action against those guilty of singing about the Holocaust.

"Clearly there is either a lack of understanding or a lack of compassion within some sections of the British football world about these issues," a statement said, "a lack of understanding or compassion which needs to be addressed."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable