Israeli midfielder Benayoun blasts 'embarrassing' West Ham fans as two arrested over vile anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham
Football Association confirm probe into alleged chants referring to Adolf Hitler and attacks on Spurs fans in Rome last weekYossi Benayoun calls for club to punish 'minority' of fans
Society of Black Lawyers have reported incident to Metropolitan PoliceWest Ham vow to ban for life fans found guilty of sick chants
18:28 GMT, 26 November 2012
West Ham's Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun has slammed the anti-Semitic chanting from a section of the club's supporters during Sunday's London derby at Tottenham, calling their behaviour 'embarrassing'.
Two West Ham United supporters have been arrested following the chanting. The two fans have accepted police cautions reportedly for making Nazi salutes, while one of them, a season ticket holder at Upton Park, has already been issued with a life-time banning order by the club.
West Ham earlier today vowed to enforce life bans on any supporters found guilty of participating in vile anti-Semitic chanting that marred the 3-1 Spurs victory. The club are working with Tottenham in their investigation after references to Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust and last week's brutal attacks on Tottenham fans in Rome were reportedly heard during West Ham's 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane.
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Let down: West Ham fans hit a new low with their chants at White Hart Lane
Tweet from Sportsmail's Alex Kay
Lazio' chants have gone on for most of
first half. Not just a few people, hundreds. It's sad and pathetic. Ban
them all.' @Alex_Kay_DM
But Benayoun, who is on a season-long loan from Chelsea and in his second spell with the club, has spoken out publicly against the fans' behaviour and called on the club and FA to punish those guilty of the sick chants.
Benayoun, who missed the match on Sunday with a thigh problem, said on Twitter: 'I have a great relationship with the West Ham United supporters, from my first spell at the club and again now I am back on loan here.
'This why I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing.
'But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I'm sure the FA together with West Ham United football club will do everything to find and punish them.'
Earlier on Monday, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘Two men were arrested during the football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham on Sunday November 25 on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. The men accepted a police caution.’
West Ham this
morning issued a statement, which read: 'West Ham United are in contact with Tottenham Hotspur to
assist them with their investigation into the conduct of a small number
of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting during yesterday's
match at White Hart Lane.
'West Ham United will take the
strongest possible action against any of their supporters, including
enforcing life bans from the club, that are found guilty of behaviour
which is categorically not condoned by West Ham United.
'During the 46 games in the
Championship last season, West Ham United had zero arrests for racism or
violence, so while we are surprised to see such reports today, we will
examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the
The FA also moved quickly and released a statement on Monday afternoon.
It read: 'The FA can confirm it has begun investigating reports of abusive chanting at the Tottenham Hotspur FC versus West Ham United FC fixture on 25 November 2011.
'The FA Governance Department has this morning contacted both clubs and will continue to make enquiries into the matter in the coming days.
'We note the statement issued by West Ham United FC and encourage Clubs to identify and ban for life any individuals involved in incidents of abusive chanting.
'There is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination in football. The FA is committed to working with the Clubs, Leagues, fans groups, the police, CPS and community stakeholders to play our part in addressing this unacceptable behaviour.'
Tottenham Hotspur also confirmed that five supporters were arrested during Sunday's match at White Hart Lane outside of the stadium for unrelated incidents.
The chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers Peter Herbert also confirmed his organisation had already notified police after some Hammers supporters appeared to mock the gassing of Jews in the Holocaust during the match at White Hart Lane.
VIDEO: Anti-semitic chants at Spurs Fan's video captures shouts in stands
Asked if he would take the issue to the police, Herbert told Sky Sports News: 'We've done so already.
fact we were due to meet a borough commander of the Met Police either
later this week or early next week and it's one of the things that will
be on our agenda.
as we're concerned there has to be zero tolerance of this. If these
people can be identified on camera and prosecuted then that is something
we'd like to see.'
Meanwhile, a Tottenham club
spokesperson said: 'We are currently compiling a full report for the
Football Association and shall be submitting this with all our evidence
including relevant CCTV footage.'
has learnt that FA officials are waiting to digest the referee's report
before launching a full probe – although off-the-field incidents
typically take longer to investigate
than those on the pitch.
Hundreds of West Ham supporters
chanted ‘Viva Lazio’ at numerous points during the game in a macabre
show of support for the hooligans who left at least 10 Spurs fans
injured and one needing emergency surgery.
Ashley Mills, 25, of Essex, had to be admitted to hospital for stab wounds to his head and groin after being set upon by a gang of masked thugs while in Rome for Tottenham’s Europa League match against Lazio. Two men have since been charged with attempted murder.
Italian flags were seen in the away section on Sunday and a red flare was also set off. After Tottenham had scored their second and third goals, ‘Lazio’ was chanted, bringing ironic cheers from the home crowd.
The most distasteful chants were saved for towards the end. In reply to Spurs fans chanting, ‘Can we play you every week’ West Ham fans sang: ‘Can we stab you every week’
Anti-semitic chanting, hissing and the references to Hitler then followed.
The FA said they would await reports from referee Andre Marriner and fourth official Mark Clattenburg before taking further action.
At the double: Jermain Defoe scored twice as Tottenham cruised to victory over West Ham
Chance: Tottenham's Gareth Bale tries to score past West Ham's Mohamed Diame (left) at White Hart Lane yesterday
WEST HAM'S OFFICIAL STATEMENT
West Ham United are in contact with Tottenham Hotspur to assist them with their investigation into the conduct of a small number of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting during yesterday's match at White Hart Lane.
West Ham United will take the strongest possible action against any of their supporters, including enforcing life bans from the club, that are found guilty of behaviour which is categorically not condoned by West Ham United.
During the 46 games in the Championship last season, West Ham United had zero arrests for racism or violence, so while we are surprised to see such reports today, we will examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the appropriate action.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said he had not heard the chanting but agreed his fans ‘should not be doing that’. Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas branded the chants as ‘stupid’.
Allardyce said: ‘I don’t hear what the fans say or do when I’m concentrating on a game of football.
‘They shouldn’t be doing things like that, should they But it’s the least of my worries at the minute.’
Asked about the Hitler chanting, Allardyce said: ‘If I didn’t hear it, I can’t condemn it. I’ll wait and look at it myself and then I’ll comment after I’ve listened to what they’ve said. I don’t want to be a political animal. I’m in here to talk about football, not what fans are saying or singing.’
Villas-Boas said: ‘We know the animosity
there is between Tottenham and West Ham. As long as it doesn’t reach
stupidity, it is a great rivalry.
Aftermath: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome were Spurs fans were attacked this week
‘I understand the whole situation is unavoidable although we can’t decipher the complete meaning of what they were singing.’
The two clubs have a long-standing history of abuse between supporters. Former West Ham striker Jermain Defoe, who was booed throughout, scored two of the goals in the win for Tottenham, a victory that takes them one place above the Hammers.
Spurs fans have been the subject of complaints by the Society of Black Lawyers who objected to the White Hart Lane supporters singing ‘Yid Army’ about themselves. Sportsmail has highlighted that this kind of disgraceful chanting is just as despicable as racist abuse, pointing out unacceptable behaviour such as vile abuse Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is subjected to at various grounds.
Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones, who has been the victim of sustained abuse, said: ‘It is like a form of racism because it is every bit as bad.’
Spurs supporters rushed to condemn their West Ham rivals on Twitter.
Three and easy: Tottenham climbed above the Hammers with this win on Sunday
Andrew Leason wrote: 'West Ham fans & their Lazio/Hitler chants showing what utter vile scum they are.'
West Ham fan Andrew Wiseman posted: 'The minority of hammers fans with the Lazio chants should hang their heads in shame. And I'm a Hammer. Pathetic.'
Ed Aarons commented: 'Not surprised at all by reports of moronic Lazio chants by West Ham fans at WHL. Not exactly known for their intelligence.'
West Ham fans were also accused of hissing in reference to the Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis in concentration camps.
'Hissing, Lazio chants and (letting off) a flare. You classless bunch of p***** are really enjoying your cup final, aren't you West Ham,' posted Louise Page.
And Charlie Parrish added: 'Next to West Ham away fans. Lots of Lazio chants. Football's pretty grim sometimes.'
The anti-racism group Kick It Out also said it was looking into the reports of abuse.
Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley said: 'Kick It Out is following up with both clubs after the reports circulated concerning unacceptable chanting at White Hart Lane and is awaiting reports with further detail.'
The Board of Deputies of British Jews also moved to condemn the reported chanting.
They issued a statement which read: 'The Board of Deputies of British Jews utterly condemns and is dismayed by reports of antisemitic chanting by West Ham United fans at yesterday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur.
'Antisemitism has no place in football or society in general. For football fans to use Holocaust imagery and chants glorifying Adolf Hitler is grossly offensive to the Jewish community and is a stain upon the character of British football.
'This in the same week that Tottenham fans were attacked in Rome in an apparently antisemitic attack.'