Tottenham fans defy police warnings with 'Yid' chanting
Tottenham Hotspur fans have defied police warnings not to use the word “Yid” in chants.
The Metropolitan Police said they would be “on the look out” for football supporters who used the word during today’s home match against West Ham United at White Hart Lane, north London.
Chief Superintendent Mick Johnson, the match commander, insisted before the fixture that “racism and offensive language have no place in football”.
The Tottenham supporters chanted “We’ll sing what we want” and “Yid Army” as the teams emerged for the game which began at 4pm.
The club has a strong Jewish following as its fans have been on the receiving end of anti-Semitic abuse from opposition supporters for many years.
In an act of defiance, some started using the word ”Yid” themselves, and chants of ”Yids”, ”Yid Army” and ”Yiddos” are regularly sung at matches.
Mr Johnson said: “This topic has been debated at length but our position is clear: racism and offensive language have no place in football or indeed in society.
“Those supporters who engage in such behaviour should be under no illusion that they may be committing an offence and may be liable to a warning or be arrested.”
A Met spokesman said officers were speaking about the issue with fans on their way into the stadium. No arrests had been made by 4.20pm.
Last month David Cameron said Spurs fans who use the word “Yid” should not face prosecution.
The Prime Minister told The Jewish Chronicle: ”There’s a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult.
”You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted – but only when it’s motivated by hate.”