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Stop fans chanting "Yid Army" or face police complaint, Tottenham Hotspur told to act over anti-Semitic songs by Society of Black Lawyers

Stop your fans chanting 'Yid Army' or face police complaint, Spurs told to act over anti-Semitic songs by anti-racism body
Tottenham also told to clamp down on away supporters 'hissing'
Club warned: home fans' traditional chant is anti-SemiticSpurs stress 'Y-word' is not used to cause anyone offence
Gary Lineker and David Baddiel back campaign to stop use of the 'Y-word'
Society of Black Lawyers reveal blueprint to kick racism out of football

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UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 7 November 2012

READ MARTIN SAMUEL'S COLUMN

Martin Samuel

Click here to read: Strictly speaking, we are looking in the wrong place for racism

'Is it any wonder that, in this climate, Ramires of Chelsea believes he heard a white referee, Mark Clattenburg, refer to his black team-mate John Mikel Obi as a ‘monkey’ two weeks ago'

Tottenham have been told to clamp down on their own fans' chanting or face a complaint to the police from the Society of Black Lawyers.

Large numbers of Spurs supporters have historically referred to themselves as the 'Yid Army' but such chants are anti-Semitic and must stop, according to Peter Herbert, the man who lodged a complaint with the Metropolitan Police over referee Mark Clattenburg's alleged abuse of John Obi Mikel.

Herbert is the chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers. He insists that hissing from away fans at White Hart Lane – a reference to the gas chambers used in the Holocaust – is equally unacceptable and will also provoke a complaint from his organisation.

Tottenham have defended their fans' right to use the term 'Yid', stressing that home fans at White Hart Lane 'do not use the term to others to cause any offence'.

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A 'Yid Army' Spurs flag

Tottenham Hotspur fans celebrate in the stands

Traditional support: A Tottenham fan (right) cheers on his side and a flag in the home end at White Hart Lane (left). BOTH IMAGES FILE PICS

Warning: The Society for Black Lawyers has urged Tottenham to act against the anti-Semitic chanting

Warning: The Society for Black Lawyers has urged Tottenham to act against the anti-Semitic chanting

SPURS STATEMENT

Spurs crest

'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 ie 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.'

SOCIETY OF BLACK LAWYERS' PLAN

A minimum six to nine-month ban for racial abuse, rising to a five-year ban for a third offence

Any fines going directly to Kick It Out to fund grassroots anti-racism initiatives

The creation of representative associations for black players, managers and coaches

Guidance for referees to send off players using racist abuse and the power to call off games where the crowd is using such abuse

A 20 per cent quota at all levels of the FA, PFA, clubs as well as football agents and referees

Racial abuse to be a matter of gross misconduct incorporated into players’ contracts

Clubs to invest in the personal education of all players, including university or college education

Recording referees and assistants during matches to pick up any possible abuse by players.

A
system for reporting racial incidents to be set up with details of
these incidents, both on and off the pitch, published each year

Herbert told Sportsmail: 'In discussions with members of the
Jewish community, we were made aware that this practice is still
continuing and it has to come to an end.

'If
neither Tottenham FC nor the FA are willing to take a stand then SBL
will report the matter to the Metropolitan Police Service for
investigation and, if necessary, prosecution.

'The
report will be made if this behaviour does not cease by 20 November. We
will have monitors in attendance to observe what occurs.'

A Tottenham club statement read: '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 ie 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.'

Former Spurs stars Gary Lineker and Ledley King have previously condemned the mimicking of the gas chambers by away supporters.

Tottenham have traditionally been
well supported by members of the Jewish community. Many fans do not
consider references to their faith as offensive. Others,such as comedian
David Baddiel, however, do.

Last year Baddiel
launched a campaign, supported by Lineker, to stamp out use of the word 'yid' in football
chants which mock Jewish and Tottenham supporters.

The Society of Black Lawyers is involved in talks to create a Black Players’ Association
with some professionals, claiming the football authorities are not doing
enough to represent them or to tackle racism in the sport.

The PFA recently introduced its own six-point action plan but the society says this will prove 'ineffective'.

Herbert added: 'What
we are trying to do is change a culture. What we are saying to Tottenham
is: “Maybe this was okay 50 years ago – but it isn't now.

'Even if it is from Tottenham supporters, it remains casual racism. We
understand it is a difficult, and for some an uncomfortable, stance to
take, but we feel it is the right stance.'

Storm brewing: Referee Mark Clattenburg is under investigation for his clash with John Mikel Obi

Storm brewing: Referee Mark Clattenburg is under investigation for his clash with John Mikel Obi

High profile: Incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez brought focus on racism in football

High profile: Incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez brought focus on racism in football

High profile: Incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez brought focus on racism in football

Baddiel

Baddiel

Lineker

Lineker

Herbert

Herbert

The Society of Black Lawyers have
published a plan to tackle racism in football and want matches to be
instantly abandoned if there is racial abuse from fans.

The document was published ahead of a meeting between the FA, Professional Footballers’ Association, Premier League and trustees of anti-racism body Kick It Out on Wednesday.

Wednesday's meeting between Kick It Out and a selection of football’s leading authorities is a scheduled get-together of the anti-racism charity’s trustees.

SUPPORTER COMMENT: SORRY BUT THE Y-WORD BELONGS TO US

As a youngster growing up supporting Spurs, it took me some time to realise the word 'yid' was an offensive racial slur. I'd never heard it used in a derogatory sense at White Hart Lane, only ever as a collective term – yid army – and as a positive identifier.

If a player was good, he was a yiddo.

But its significance soon became apparent. Though far from the abhorrent gas chamber hissing of some away fans, it's still sensitive. Context is important, though, and its reclamation as a positive term at the ground should not be ignored.

The Society of Black lawyers says use of the word yid, including the tone adopted by Spurs fans, amounts to casual racism. Perhaps they have a point. Perhaps simply substituting the word would be the answer. But Spurs fans are unlikely to take kindly at being told what to do by an external body, especially as it is largely considered a positive, rather than offensive, chant.

David Baddiel tried to stamp out its use by Tottenham supporters but, despite his own Jewish faith, the views of a Chelsea fan were never likely to be accepted by the Spurs majority.

If the word yid really is to be kicked out of White Hart Lane, it would need concerns to be raised from within the Spurs-supporting community, rather than outside pressures.

Andrew Magee, life-long Spurs supporter

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John Obi Mikel verdict after Mark Clattenburg claims imminent

FA's Mikel verdict due after claims ref Clattenburg racially abused Chelsea star

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 6 November 2012

The Football Association expect to complete their investigation into Chelsea's claims that Mark Clattenburg racially insulted John Mikel Obi before the weekend.

Chelsea players, including Mikel and Ramires, gave witness statements to Jenni Kennedy, head of governance at the FA, on Monday. Now her attention has turned to referee Clattenburg.

FA chiefs, who are under pressure to make a swift decision, could even make an announcement on potential charges before the weekend.

Verdict due: The FA expect to complete their investigation before the weekend

Verdict due: The FA expect to complete their investigation before the weekend

Mark Clattenburg uncomfortable with Chelsea players" visit

Race-row ref Clattenburg was 'uncomfortable' over Chelsea's visit to officials' room

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UPDATED:

23:53 GMT, 3 November 2012

Referee Mark Clattenburg’s report on last Sunday’s clashes at Stamford Bridge — when he was accused of racially abusing Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel by calling him ‘monkey’ — will centre on the visit Chelsea employees and players made to the officials’ room after the match.

And sources claim that the ‘extraordinary incident’ report will suggest Clattenburg was uncomfortable with what happened during that visit.

Contrary to some reports, Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay is understood to have played no part in confronting Clattenburg after the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United. One well-placed source claims that Gourlay actually ushered Chelsea personnel away from the officials’ room.

Claim: Mark Clattenburg allegedly racially abused Jon Obi Mikel (centre)

Claim: Mark Clattenburg allegedly racially abused Jon Obi Mikel (centre)

Clattenburg is the subject of ongoing
investigations by the Football Association and police into the racial
abuse accusation, which the 37-year-old has privately denied. He faces
the possibility of an FA charge, criminal action and the end of his
refereeing career.

But the possibility also remains that one or more
Chelsea employee could face FA action for their part in confronting the
referee. It is understood that statements from assistant referees Simon Long and Michael McDonough and fourth official Mike Jones will support Clattenburg’s assertion that he made no racially abusive remarks.

All three were able to hear and speak to Clattenburg throughout the game using an earpiece system which provides digital quality sound that cuts out background noise.

Flashpoint: Clattenburg sent off Fernando Torres

Flashpoint: Clattenburg sent off Fernando Torres

Chelsea have not disputed the fact that Mikel heard the claim he had been abused by Clattenburg only after the match when he was told by non-English-speaking team-mate Ramires.

His version of the exchange was translated from his native Portuguese by his Brazilian team-mate David Luiz. United’s players have been asked by the club whether they heard any abusive comments by Clattenburg during the match and none reported anything untoward.

United are particularly sensitive to the issue of racism after Patrice Evra’s experience in the Luis Suarez case and the John Terry affair involving Rio Ferdinand’s brother Anton.

Evidence is still being gathered in the latest case, but it is expected that the FA will have a clear picture of what happened within days and may be in a position to announce whether any individuals will face disciplinary charges by the end of the week.

No decision has been made over when Clattenburg can return to work. The final say rests with the match officials’ controlling body — the PGMOL.

Chelsea are also under investigation because of the behaviour of their fans at last weekend’s match. Further action against the club could result from their failure to keep sections of the crowd under control after coins, lighters and a seat were thrown onto the pitch during the game.

The club have been further embarrassed by photographs of Chelsea fan Gavin Kirkham apparently making monkey gestures towards United striker Danny Welbeck in the return Capital One Cup game last Wednesday.

Unacceptable: Gavin Kirkham appears to make a 'monkey' gesture

Unacceptable: Gavin Kirkham appears to make a 'monkey' gesture

Clattenburg has received staunch support from United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

On Friday the United boss said he did not believe Clattenburg had made a racist remark. In his programme notes on Saturday, he added: ‘I felt every sympathy for Mark Clattenburg last Sunday. He was pilloried and didn’t deserve it. The officials made two mistakes — one that went against us and one that did us a huge favour — and I don’t hold either error against them.

‘I would have thought Chelsea would have been grateful to the referee rather than going on to give him a hard time.’

Oriol Romeu could return to Barcelona in 2013

Romeu considering return to Barcelona despite Chelsea impact

Champion: Oriol Romeu

Champion: Oriol Romeu”s combination of power and flair has seen him impress in a Chelsea shirt

Chelsea’s Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu could return to his homeland in 2013.

Romeu joined the Blues from Barcelona in the summer and has already forged a place as Andre Villas-Boas’ preferred defensive midfielder ahead of John Obi Mikel.

The 20-year-old’s future at Stamford Bridge has, however, already been questioned because Barcelona have a buy-back option at the end of this season, as well as in the summer of 2013.

Chelsea have refuted that, stating only that Barca have first refusal if they were willing to sell – a scenario that looks increasingly unlikely as Romeu establishes himself – but it is widely understood that Barcelona will be able to take the player backif they desire.

While the midfielder is keen to repay Chelsea’s faith, their hopes of holding onto the player in the long-term could be jeopardised by his apparent desire to one day return to Barca.

“Will Romeu return His dream before leaving was to be a Barcelona player and that still stands, but we cannot ignore the opportunity Chelsea have provided,” his agent Javier Magico Diaz said.

“We’ll have to see if it’s appropriate for the club and the player (to return to Barca).

Signed: Andre Villas-Boas brought Romeu to the Bridge in the summer

Signed: Andre Villas-Boas brought Romeu to the Bridge in the summer

“We need to know if he’ll keep developing at Chelsea and playing.

“Maybe it will be more convenient to stay for another year and then return in 2013.”

Despite that Diaz said Romeu, who had been restricted to Barcelona’s B team before his move to England, felt indebted to Chelsea for giving him his chance at the top level.

“Oriol has made a name for himself in the Premier League and is playing regularly,” he added.

“We’re committed to the club and we cannot leave them hanging.”