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Police threaten to arrest fans over anti-Semitic chants

The Metropolitan Police has warned football fans that the use of anti-Semitic words in chants at matches may result in arrest.

Police officers will be taking action against the use of the 'Y' word at this Sunday's Premier League fixture between Tottenham Hostpur and West Ham United.

Last month David Cameron said fans who chant the 'Y' word should not be prosecuted, but the Football Association warned fans that they could face prosecution if they use terms deemed offensive to Jewish people.

This topic has been debated at length but our position is clear, racism and offensive language have no place in football or indeed in society. Those supporters who engage in such behaviour should be under no illusion that they may be committing an offence and may be liable to a warning or be arrested.

– Chief Superintendent Mick Johnson, the match commander at White Hart Lane on Sunday


Opinion divided over controversial Spurs chant

Tottenham Hotspur fans are at the centre of a controversy over the use of the word "Yid", after the FA warned that fans could face prosecution if they use terms offensive to Jewish people.

However, David Cameron and the Tottenham Hotspur manager, Andre Villas-Boas, have contradicted that message, arguing that fans should not be prosecuted.

Spurs supporters argue that the chants are part of their tradition.

Comedian David Baddiel, who has campaigned against the use of the word, insists the word is a race hate word and should be given the same level of protection as other racist terms.

ITV News' UK editor Lucy Manning reports:

Anti-Semitic terms 'should be treated as race-hate'

The comedian David Baddiel has told ITV News that Jewish people should given the same level of protection against anti-Semitic terms as other racist language.

He acknowledged that Spurs fans were divided on the issue, but insisted that Jewish people should be given the "same thought, significance and protection" as other ethnic minorities against racist language.

Baddiel: 'PM does not understand context of 'Yid' term'

David Baddiel has told ITV News that David Cameron has not understood the wider context of the word "Yid".

Mr Cameron told the Jewish Chronicle that Spurs fans who use the term should not be prosecuted. But many find the term anti-Semitic and offensive.

The comedian told UK Editor Lucy Manning that the Prime Minister would not let another racist term "pass his lips":

Watch Lucy Manning's report on ITV News at 6.30pm


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David Baddiel: 'Yid' really is a race-hate word

Comedian David Baddiel is a Jewish Chelsea fan and has argued that Tottenham supporters should not describe themselves as 'Yids'.

Writing in the Guardian David Baddiel spoke out against David Cameron's comments:

"Yid is a race-hate word... The only possible reason why a culture that has tried to dismiss other race-hate words to the margins of language would consider it acceptable is if the racism of which it is a part is somehow less offensive, somehow less significant, than other racisms.

"Which must be, I guess, what a lot of people consciously or unconsciously think - if it had been the N-word or the P-word, it wouldn't have got past David Cameron's lips."

David Baddiel Credit: Press Association

Spurs will 'consider' continued use of 'Yid' chants

Tottenham Hotspur said it will consider whether "Yid army" and "Yiddo" chants by its fans are appropriate and will "consult widely" on the issue.

A club spokesman said:

The debate has two key considerations. Firstly, whether or not its use now plays a role in deflecting or attracting unjustified abuse. Secondly, whether it is liable to cause offence to others even if unintentionally.

We recognise that this is a complex debate and that, in the interests of encouraging a positive and safe environment for all supporters, consideration should be given to the appropriateness and suitability of its continued use.

We are already in the process of engaging with our fans and shall be consulting more widely in due course.

– Tottenham Hotspur Club Spokesperson

No 10 'discourages anyone' using anti-Semitic term

A Downing Street spokesperson clarified David Cameron's comments on football fans using an anti-Semitic term, saying, "We would discourage anyone" from using it.

The spokesperson said:

We would discourage anyone from using the term 'Yid' given the historical associations of the term and the offence it could cause.

The Prime Minister was asked about criminal prosecution and specifically whether people who refer to themselves in this way should be prosecuted.

Self-referring is clearly different to people using it as a term of abuse motivated by hatred.

Baddiel made short film tackling anti-Semitic chants

Comedian David Baddiel and his brother Ivor wrote and directed a short film titled The Y Word aimed at tackling anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish abuse in football.

The video, made for the Let's Kick Racism Out Of Football campaign, features Frank Lampard, Gary Lineker and Ledley King discussing football chants in a bid to raise awareness:

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