Tottenham Hotspur: 'Our fans not guilty of anti-Semitic abuse'

Spurs defend fans over 'Yid' chants
© PA Photos
Tottenham Hotspur respond to claims from the Society of Black Lawyers, who accuse Spurs fans of chanting anti-Semitic songs during matches.

Tottenham Hotspur have hit back at the Society of Black Lawyers by insisting that their supporters are not guilty of anti-Semitic abuse.

The group have threatened the North London club with police action if they do not address the alleged issue of anti-Semitic chants being adopted by Spurs supporters during matches.

A statement from Spurs said: "Our position on this topic is very clear. The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive chanting. Our guiding principle in respect of the 'Y-word' is based on the point of law itself - the distinguishing factor is the intent with which it is used i.e. if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence. This has been the basis of prosecutions of fans of other teams to date.

"Our fans adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any offence, they use it a chant amongst themselves.

"The club believes that real anti-Semitic abuse such as hissing to simulate the noise of gas chambers is the real evil and the real offence. We believe this is the area that requires a determined and concerted effort from all parties and where we seek greater support to eradicate."

Many Spurs fans refer to themselves as 'Yids' and are known to chant "Yid army" during matches.

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