'We must deal with it': West Ham boss Sam Allardyce finally speaks out about anti-Semitic chanting

Manager was under pressure to address chanting after failure to do so in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's match

Sam Allardyce has spoken out about the anti-Semitic chanting that took place at White Hart Lane at Sunday and defended himself for not doing so earlier.

The West Ham manager was under growing pressure to condemn those that hissed and chanted about Hitler during the Premier League clash.

In the immediate aftermath, Allardyce claimed not to have heard them, saying: "If I didn't hear it, I can't condemn it. I'll wait and look at it myself and then I'll comment after I've listened to what they've said. They shouldn't be doing things like that. But it's the least of my worries at the minute."

Supporters and pundits on Twitter yesterday felt this was not good enough, and Allardyce was under pressure to make a statement today when he conducted his press conference ahead of tomorrow night's game against Manchester United at OId Trafford.

Allardyce duly did, and joined those who have called for heavy punishments for those who appeared to mock Jews being gassed during the Holocaust.

When asked if supporters found guilty of such abuse should be banned for life, the West Ham boss told today's press conference: "Yes. It's a small minority but at the end of the day a small minority can make themselves heard at football matches if they really want to and we must deal with it.

"The good thing is with security cameras and CCTV cameras, it's difficult for them to get away with it. Hopefully we can pick out those people and punish them in the right way."

West Ham have already banned one season ticket holder for life and in conjunction with Tottenham are actively seeking others who took part in the vile chants, which also included references to last week's stabbing of a Spurs fan in Rome.

West Ham co-owner David Gold has said such actions "will not be tolerated" among the club's support and the Hammers' Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun said he was "embarrassed" by the chanting.

Speaking further about the chants today, Allardyce said he was saddened by the behaviour of some of the fans.

"It's very, very disappointing to hear what has been said and done by a small minority of fans. No one condones that sort of behaviour," Allardyce said.

"I don't wish to hear any of that sort of chanting in the game of football anywhere in this country.

"We have to continue to do all we possibly can for it not to happen.

"If we punish the people who have done it in the right way I think we will cut it out and stop it."

Allardyce also defended himself for not speaking out sooner, reiterating that he was not aware of the chanting during the match.

"I was doing a press conference after the game and had no idea what had happened and what had been said or done," the 58-year-old said.

"I wasn't prepared and didn't want to comment having not heard what went on.

"I don't know how I was supposed to react to something I didn't know anything about.

"You are in a very difficult position. We had just been beaten 3-1 by Tottenham. I wasn't in the best mood. I am not expecting the question.

"I am expecting to talk about football and I am a football manager. I didn't want to comment on it. Now, like everyone else - I don't condone it."

The Football Association announced yesterday that they are investigating the incident.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'