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Volume 7 No. 83
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Spanish Newspaper Marca Claims Tottenham Is Hated For Jewish Origins, Sparking Outrage

Tottenham is "hated" for its Jewish origins, Spanish newspaper Marca claimed, according to Ed Malyon of the London INDEPENDENT. The publication "printed the shocking claims on Monday" as part of its preview for Spurs' visit to Real Madrid in the Champions League this week. Tottenham is described as a club "hated, but with good footballing style." Marca expanded on that by claiming "their Jewish origin has made them into a club disliked by rival fans," before adding "but in their 135 years of existence they have always had style and great players." While Spurs "traditionally have a large Jewish following," the club was formed by members of Hotspur Cricket Club in 1882 "with assistance from a Bible class teacher from the local church," John Ripsher, who later became the club's first president. Tottenham said in a statement, "We are astonished that a publication such as Marca, which presents itself as an alleged source of professional journalism, has seen fit to publish such an article which is blatantly wrong and wholly distasteful" (INDEPENDENT, 10/16). In London, Shergold & Jenson reported Marca's article said, "Throughout their history, they have been frowned upon by the followers of other London clubs, mainly by their big enemy Arsenal but also by the followers of West Ham and Chelsea and other capital clubs of a lesser pedigree, spreading the animosity to the rest of the country, where it is normal to hear the deafening chant 'stand up if you hate Tottenham' when they take to the field. Since its beginnings the club has had an undeniable connection with the Jewish community represented in directors, coaches and players. And the current owner and president, Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy, are Jewish." The article "caused outrage on social media" and Tottenham "condemned the sentiments in it." In a statement published later on Monday, the author of the piece, Enrique Ortega, stated "regret" over the way the article had been viewed, "blaming a mistranslation of the word 'odiado' -- meaning 'hated.'" The statement said, "The article has generated controversy in England for an erroneous interpretation of the word 'hated,' that is also employed in the text. This 'hatred' that Tottenham suffer is very concentrated in the radical and racist groups that hide in the social mass of especially Chelsea and West Ham. Evidently these groups in no way represent English fans in general or English society" (DAILY MAIL, 10/16). The London TELEGRAPH reported earlier this season, Chelsea announced it would "ban any fans involved in anti-Semitic chanting" after condemning a song involving Álvaro Morata. A section of the traveling Chelsea supporters at the King Power Stadium for the victory over Leicester City sang "Álvaro, oh, Álvaro, oh. He came from Real Madrid, he hates the f------ Yids" in reference to Chelsea’s rivalry with Spurs. Chelsea, whose owner, Roman Abramovich, is the chair of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, ordered its fans to "stop the Morata song" (TELEGRAPH, 10/16).