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Spurs to meet with Kick It Out and the Met Police over anti-Semitism

Tottenham Hotspur fans watching a previous game. Photo credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Tottenham Hotspur fans watching a previous game. Photo credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS

Thursday, November 15, 2012
10:12 PM

Tottenham have announced they will meet with Kick It Out and the police next week to discuss the issue of anti-Semitism.

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The Society of Black Lawyers (SBL) have criticised Tottenham for what they see as a lack of action against home fans using the words “Yid” or “Yiddo” in chants at White Hart Lane.

The SBL say the songs are anti-Semitic, but Tottenham, who have a strong Jewish following, insist their fans have used the controversial terms “as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse”.

The SBL say they will make a complaint to the police if the chanting does not stop by November 20.

Tottenham tonight issued a statement which said they would meet with the police and anti-racism group Kick It Out to discuss the matter of anti-Semitism.

The statement read: “As part of our desire for a wider debate and action on how to collectively eradicate anti-Semitism from our footballing community, the club has arranged to meet with Kick It Out and the Metropolitan Police next week in order to discuss measures to be taken both inside and outside stadia.”

Tottenham have encouraged their fans to partake in a Kick It Out survey concerning everything to do with the debate around discrimination in football.

“A key component for this debate is for us to understand the views of the fans in relation to discrimination in sport,” the club statement continued.

“We are therefore delighted to support Kick It Out as they ask supporters to have their say in the biggest-ever fans’ consultation on tackling discrimination in football.

“The survey covers a range of topics from how to improve reporting of abusive behaviour and stewarding in stadiums, to combating abusive behaviour on social media. The findings will be used to form a blueprint for football authorities in tackling discrimination in the game.

“At a time when discrimination is high on the football agenda, it is easy for fans and players to forget the great strides made over the last 20 years. But, there is still a long way to go.

“Kick It Out believes this important dialogue with football fans will help set out how to move forward in order to achieve a zero tolerance approach to discrimination in all its forms, and at all levels of the game.”

The issue of racism in football has been a hot topic in the last 12 months.

Last season Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches after racially abusing Patrice Evra and this year John Terry received a four-match ban for his part in an incident involving Anton Ferdinand, although a criminal court cleared the Chelsea captain of a similar charge and the Football Association said they did not think the defender was a racist. Terry always protested his innocence.

England’s Under-21 players were subjected to monkey chanting when they played in Serbia, and Lazio were fined for a similar offence when their fans targeted Tottenham’s players with offensive chanting during a Europa League match in September.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Nickname: The Lilywhites.

Ground: White Hart Lane (capacity 36,310).

Founded: 1882.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1951, 1961

Second Division: 1920, 1950.

Southern League: 1900.

FA Cup: 1901, 1921, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1981, 1982, 1991.

League Cup: 1971, 1973, 1999, 2008.

Uefa Cup: 1972, 1984.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1963.

Leading goalscorers: Jimmy Greaves, 379.

Leading appearances: Steve Perryman, 854.