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Police handed evidence of anti-Semitic abuse used by West Ham fans against Tottenham Hotspur fans
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust has submitted evidence to the Metropolitan Police of West Ham supporters aiming anti-Semitic abuse at Spurs fans during the recent London derby at White Hart Lane.
According to the trust's joint-chairman Darren Alexander, anti-Semitic chanting and hissing sounds could be heard coming from the section of West Ham fans in the south-west corner of the ground, and there is evidence of such abuse in video clips recorded by West Ham supporters during the match that were subsequently posted on YouTube.
The trust has compiled a dossier of these clips as well as a number of anti-Semitic comments made on other social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and at least one fans' forum. According to Alexander, these posts were made not only by West Ham supporters but also fans of Chelsea and Arsenal too.
The Metropolitan Police issued a statement before the fixture, warning supporters of both clubs that they could face arrest for use of the word 'Yid' during the game. A Spurs fan was arrested at half-time for committing this offence and has subsequently been released on bail.
However, no West Ham fans were arrested for anti-Semitic abuse during the game, despite a heavy police presence in that area of the stadium.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust says it is appalled the Police failed to take action against West Ham supporters using this abuse and has demanded a meeting with the Met's match commander, chief superintendent Mick Johnson, to discuss the events of that weekend.
Mr Alexander, the trust's joint chairman, said: “We have got a dossier of anti-Semitic abuse by West Ham supporters during the game, and also Chelsea and Arsenal supporters after the game on social networking sites.”
“There are at least two video clips taken by West Ham supporters during the game which they have put up on YouTube, and these have already been passed onto the police.
“West Ham supporters during the game, and in the video clips, could clearly be heard making hissing sounds and singing songs relating to the Jewish holocaust during the Second World War.
“We also have a number of Twitter and Facebook comments made by West Ham, Chelsea and Arsenal fans, and something else we have seen on a forum. We have a meeting set up with chief superintendent Mick Johnson in two weeks' time where we hope to discuss several things, including this.
“What we want to know is why a Tottenham fan has been arrested for using the word ‘Yid’ in a way that is supportive of the Jewish community when there was anti-Semitic abuse coming from West Ham supporters in another part of the ground.”
The trust is also requesting talks with David Sullivan and David Gold, the West Ham joint-chairmen, to challenge them over a statement they released in which they praised the behaviour of Hammers supporters during the game.
In the statement issued the day after West Ham's 3-0 victory, Sullivan wrote: “On Sunday morning, I wrote an open letter to supporters attending the game to remind them they would be acting as ambassadors for our club. As expected, they did not let us down.”
In response, Alexander said: “I will be contacting West Ham to question Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Gold about their statement, in which they said their fans behaved impeccably well - it's quite clear they didn't.”
Tottenham supporters are under increasing pressure to relinquish the use of the word ‘Yid’ following a number of complaints by visiting supporters that it could be deemed as anti-Semitic.
Spurs fans claim they use the word as an act of defiance against anti-Semitic abuse, which has often been directed at Tottenham supporters over a number of decades based on a strong Jewish heritage at the club.
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