West Ham Fans Allegedly Use Antisemitic Chants During Away Game Against Tottenham
The Metropolitan police have confirmed that it has "received a complaint from someone inside White Hart Lane following the alleged antisemitic abuse that came from a section of West Ham supporters during their team's Premier League match against Tottenham on Sunday," according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. Spurs and West Ham "have issued statements confirming that they will assist the FA's investigation into the alleged abuse." However, the matter "could now become a criminal one following the intervention of the Met, with police having arrested two spectators during the match for making Nazi-style salutes," which officers described as a "racially aggravated public order offence." Those two fans have accepted police cautions, and one "has been identified by West Ham as a season ticket holder and banned by the club." A Met spokesperson said, "We can confirm that a complaint has been received, but we are yet to speak formally with the complainant." The police are "expected to meet the person who made the complaint on Wednesday." Spurs' 3-1 victory on Sunday "was overshadowed by West Ham supporters apparently mocking the Holocaust and chanting a song about Adolf Hitler." The FA confirmed on Monday evening that it is looking into the matter. A statement read: "The FA can confirm it has begun investigating reports of abusive chanting at the Tottenham Hotspur FC versus West Ham United FC fixture on 25 November 2011." The Community Security Trust, a charity that monitors antisemitism and provides security for the U.K. Jewish community, "has also confirmed that it has received complaints about the alleged abuse" (GUARDIAN, 11/26).
LIFETIME BAN THREATENED: In London, Dyer & Rice reported West Ham promised that "fans will be banned from Upton Park for life if they are proven to have made the alleged chants" during Sunday's game. West Ham is "studying footage from the game." The incident "has also been reported to the police by the Society of Black Lawyers." Asked if he would take the issue to the police Chair Peter Herbert told Sky Sports News: "We've done so already." Tottenham "will be submitting video evidence" as part of its report to the FA. A club spokesperson said: "We are currently compiling a full report for the Football Association and shall be submitting this with all our evidence including relevant CCTV footage" (INDEPENDENT, 11/26). Also in London, Neil Gardner reported West Ham has also vowed to help Tottenham with its investigation, adding on its website: "We will examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the appropriate action." Reports from match officials and delegates "will be assessed by the FA before England’s governing body decides on whether any action is required" (LONDON TIMES, 11/26).