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Tottenham Hotspur urge fans to 'be mindful' of use of Y-word
Tottenham Hotspur has asked fans to “be mindful” when using the Y-word after three supporters were charged in connection with its use.
The men, who were arrested on Tuesday, were accused of using threatening behaviour when using the word 'Yid' at White Hart Lane stadium.
Two were accused of using the word during Spurs' win over FC Sheriff in a Europa League fixture in November last year. A third is accused of using the word during Tottenham's defeat to West Ham at White Hart Lane on October 6.
Spurs fans often refer to themselves as the “Yid Army” because of the north London club’s large Jewish fan base.
Supporters also often chant the word ‘yid’ during matches as a way of reclaiming it from people who may wish to use it as a racial slur.
In a statement on the club’s website, Spurs said it has been in regular contact with the police and would maintain a “zero tolerance policy on anti-Semetic abuse”.
However, the club said it did not believe fans had meant to cause offence.
The statement said: “At this point in time, whilst we believe that our fans do not use the word with any deliberate intent to offend, we would once again remind our fans that the Metropolitan Police has stated that the use of the word can be considered a criminal offence on the basis that it can cause offence and we would ask that supporters are mindful of their use of the word."
Spurs said it will meet with the police and provide fans with more guidance on the use of offensive language ahead of the match against Manchester City on Wednesday, January 29.
The club said: “Please be assured we shall also be discussing with the police, once again, the importance of adopting a zero tolerance position on anti-Semitic abuse.”
Following the arrest of the three men the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust said it was “saddened, but certainly not surprised”.
The trust and many Spurs fans say they use ‘the Y word’ to reclaim the term from other teams’ supporters, who use it as an anti-Semitic epithet.
Police have repeatedly warned fans not to use the word in recent months, and have also made arrests over various anti-Semitic tweets aimed at Spurs fans.
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