Jewish and antiracism organisations have called for Tottenham Hotspur to clamp down on chants of ‘yid army’, ‘yid’ and ‘yiddo’, which have been sung by Tottenham fans for several decades.
The above phrases are regularly chanted by Tottenham fans both during home and away games but the World Jewish Congress has now asked the club to stop fans from continuing them going forward.
A report in The Independent quotes Robert Singer, CEO of the World Jewish Congress calling for a no-tolerance policy from the club in relation to these chants. He said, “The use of ‘yid’ by fans in the stands, either as a self-designed nickname or as a slogan against rivals must not be tolerated in any way.”
“We would also ask Tottenham Hotspur to take a stand against the use of ‘Yid Army’, ‘yid’ and ‘yiddos’ by their fans.”
“Such a long overdue action is important to kick antisemitism off the pitch and create a welcoming environment for all.”
This controversy is, of course, not new with many people already asking for the club to ban the chants. Tottenham Hotspur are well known to have a sizable Jewish fan base and fans of the club have adopted the chant to deflect any anti-semitic abuse directed at them from opposition fans.
The fans have rightly reiterated on several instances in the past that the idea behind the chant is not to perpetuate anti-semitic sentiments but rather to fight back against such tendencies and proudly reassert the club’s Jewish identity.
The Independent also claims to have spoken to a spokesperson from Tottenham who told the publication in no uncertain terms that that idea behind the use of the ‘Y-word’ is to deflect antisemitic abuse.
The publication quoted the spokesperson saying, “We remain wholly committed to ensuring that a zero-tolerance position is adopted in respect of anti-semitic behaviour.
“The Y-word was originally adopted to deflect against such abuse. We have always been clear that our fans – both Jewish and gentile – have never used the term with any deliberate intent to cause offence.”
“A re-assessment of its use can only occur effectively within the context of a total clampdown on unacceptable anti-Semitism.”
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