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JewishJournal.com

November 26, 2012

British soccer fans again face anti-Semitic chants

http://www.jewishjournal.com/world/article/british_soccer_fans_again_face_anti_semitic_chants

Tottenham Hotspurs against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane, in London, on Nov. 25. Photo by Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspurs against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane, in London, on Nov. 25. Photo by Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Fans of a popular British soccer club spewed anti-Semitic taunts and chants at fans of a second British club whose fans are sometimes referred to as the "Yid Army."

West Ham United fans on Sunday sang anti-Semitic songs about Adolf Hitler to supporters of the home team, the Tottenham Hotspurs, and referred to the stabbing last week in Italy of a Spurs fan by a West Ham fan.

"Can we stab you every week?" and "Adolf Hitler's coming to get you," the West Ham Fans chanted during the game.

The Spurs traditionally have had a large Jewish support base in London.

The Community Security Trust, British Jewry's watchdog group on anti-Semitism and hate crimes, and its security agency called on the Football Association, the governing body of soccer in England, to take action in the wake of the anti-Semitic chanting.

The Community Security Trust sits on the Football Association's working group tackling Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Football. The Trust plans to introduce a discussion on how campaigns against racism in soccer can be fully extended to include anti-Semitism.

"The days of English football crowds making mass monkey noises are thankfully gone, but massed anti-Semitic chanting about Hitler and gassing was clearly heard yesterday from a loud section of West Ham fans," said Community Security Trust spokesman Mark Gardner. "We have heard such abuse against Spurs before and it risks seriously compromising the work against racism at all levels of the game."

Several people at the match and others who heard about the chants via the media lodged complaints with the Trust.

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