Tottenham Hotspur defend fans over alleged abuse

 

Tottenham have defended their fans after the Society of Black Lawyers threatened to make a complaint to police over their claims anti-Semitic abuse is taking place at White Hart Lane.

The group behind the push for a black players' union have put forward a 10-point plan they think will help combat racism in football.

The group want to give referees the power to call off games if there is racial abuse from the terraces and they want any player who is guilty of racism to be sacked.

The organisation have also claimed they will report any fans heard singing anti-Semitic songs at the home of Tottenham to the police.

Although widely recognised as an insult, some Spurs fans proudly call themselves "Yids" or "Yiddos" and chant "Yid army" at games as an act of defiance to those who discriminate against the club's large Jewish following.

Peter Herbert, who chairs the Society of Black Lawyers says this is not acceptable. He said: "It does not make a difference if it is Tottenham fans doing the chants or away fans - if they continue to do it we will report it to the police.

"There has to be zero tolerance and if that catches out Spurs then so be it."

Asked about Jewish fans themselves singing the chant, he said: "That's not acceptable either."

He added: "If neither Tottenham FC nor the FA are willing to take a stand then SBL will report the matter to the Metropolitan Police Service for investigation and, if necessary, prosecution.

"The report will be made if this behaviour does not cease by 20 November. We will have monitors in attendance to observe what occurs."

Spurs responded to Herbert's claims by defending their supporters and pointing out that their fans have in the past been subjected to taunts about the Holocaust.

"Our position on this topic is very clear," a Tottenham statement read.

"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 i.e. 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."

Racism has been a burning issue within the game over the last few weeks.

Chelsea captain John Terry was banned for four matches for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand - although he was cleared of criminal charges - and two weeks ago the Blues became embroiled in another race row when they accused referee Mark Clattenburg of using "inappropriate language" towards their midfielder John Obi Mikel.

The language Clattenburg is alleged to have used is understood to have been interpreted as being racist.

The referee, who denies the claim, should be suspended while the FA and the police are conducting an investigation in to the matter, the SBL say.

A statement from the organisation read: "The SBL expresses serious concern that the FA has not suspended (Clattenburg) in light of the allegations of racial abuse he faces.

"Suspension is commonly used in employment situations where allegations of misconduct are made where a person's integrity and responsibility is open to question.

"This is partly to preserve the position of the person under investigation and would be in the interests of a referee in these circumstances to ensure he is not subject to false allegations in what is clearly a highly charged environment.

"Suspension does not signal any guilt at all."

Clattenburg did not referee a game last weekend and will not do so again this week so he can concentrate on helping the FA and the police with their enquiries.#

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
books
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

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
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot