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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Sep 13, 2013

Spurs fans to contest action on 'Y word'

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust is to seek legal advice regarding the Football Association's warning that the use of the term "Yid" could result in criminal charges.

Part of the West Ham section of the crowd at White Hart Lane
Tottenham fans can be heard singing "Yid Army".

Some Tottenham fans have adopted the "Y word" for the chant "Yid Army" as a reference to the club's Jewish roots, and the FA has acknowledged they use the term as a "badge of honour".

However, the FA has said the term is "derogatory and offensive", with opposition supporters having used it as a way of directing anti-Semitic abuse towards Spurs fans.

And the governing body has said that any supporter heard using the term could face prosecution, as it continues its fight against discrimination in the English game.

"The FA considers that the use of the term 'Yid' is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer and considers the term to be inappropriate in a football setting," an FA statement read.

"Use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offence, and leave those fans liable to prosecution and potentially a lengthy Football Banning Order."

But a statement from the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust read: "Whilst we fully recognise that Spurs fans' use of the 'Y word' and associated identity may have caused some upset to members of the Jewish community, we sincerely believe that no Spurs fan uses the term in a malicious way.

"THST believes that rather than focus on Tottenham Hotspur fans using the term, more work needs to be done to educate supporters of other clubs as to why it is completely unacceptable for them to continue to sing songs and chants that do not focus solely on Spurs fans but slur the Jewish community as a whole."

It continued: "THST is categorically against ejections and banning orders for the use of the term by Tottenham Hotspur supporters in a match environment and will be seeking advice from both the Football Supporters' Federation and the legal profession as to whether there is scope for such measures under current legislation.

"Our view has always been that should Spurs fans use of the ‘Yid’ identity come to an end, this should be as a result of the feeling amongst the Spurs community that it was time to naturally move on.

West Ham's match at White Hart Lane in November last year was marred by anti-Semitic chants, although no action was taken by the FA following an investigation in March.

In 2011, Kick It Out released a video featuring the likes of Tottenham's Ledley King and Chelsea's Frank Lampard that looked to educate fans about the use of the "Y word".