'Can we stab you every week' Probe into sickening anti-semitic West Ham chants which mocked Spurs fans attacked in ItalyTwo West Ham fans arrested and cautioned over chants
17:04 GMT, 26 November 2012
The Football Association has launched an investigation into the vile chanting by some West Ham fans at Tottenham yesterday.
Spurs’ 3-1 Barclays Premier League win was overshadowed by sickening songs about the stabbings of the Tottenham fans in Rome last week.
Anti-Semitic taunts were also heard, along with persistent hissing and references to Adolf Hitler.
Two fans were arrested and later accepted a police caution over the chants.
Let down: West Ham fans hit a new low with their chants at White Hart Lane
A spokesman for the Metropolitan
Police 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.'
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.
High-level discussions are also taking place between the West Ham hierarchy over what action the club will take.
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 in a statement: 'The FA can confirm it has begun investigating reports of abusive chanting at the Tottenham versus West Ham United fixture.
'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 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.'
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 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.'