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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 14, 2009

Spurs and Pompey call for calm ahead of clash

Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth have appealed for calm from their supporters ahead of the Premier League clash at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

On Tuesday Hampshire Police charged 11 people, including three juveniles, with indecent chanting following homophobic comments aimed at Pompey's former Spurs defender Sol Campbell during the match at Fratton Park in September.

Given the recent move of manager Harry Redknapp from Fratton Park to the north-London club, which was followed by the £15million transfer of striker Jermain Defoe back to Spurs, it is feared tensions could be raised further.

Both Tottenham and Portsmouth issued appeals to their supporters hoping to diffuse any potential flashpoints, while there is set to be an increased police and steward presence at Sunday's game.

"We would urge supporters to observe the club code of behaviour at matches," said a statement from Spurs.

"The unacceptable chanting which marred our visit to Fratton Park in September resulted in several arrests and it is in the interests of everyone associated with the club that we do not have a repeat of that regrettable incident.

"The club does not tolerate abusive, offensive or obscene chanting, including anything of a homophobic nature.

"The behaviour of fans will be under the spotlight at this match.

"We shall take action against anyone seen or heard to be guilty of any such offence.

"We have previously banned individuals due to unacceptable behaviour - please do not put us in the position where we are forced to take such action.

"Full houses at the Lane have always provided terrific inspiration to the team and this will be vital on Sunday.

"Please focus your energies on cheering your team to victory."

Pompey, meanwhile, have urged their travelling fans - who have snapped up all the 1,700 tickets available - not to "let the club down" and also have vowed to ban for life any who do.

"The indecent abuse directed at Pompey captain Sol Campbell by Spurs supporters when the sides met at Fratton Park in September - and subsequent police action - meant the return fixture in north London was already under the microscope," read a club statement.

"But Harry Redknapp's move from Pompey to Tottenham, followed by Jermain Defoe's switch to White Hart Lane last week, means the game, which is live on Sky, is the subject of even greater attention.

"With the possibility of heightened tension we implore our travelling supporters to maintain their excellent reputation as ambassadors for Portsmouth Football Club.

"In a meeting with Pompey last week, the safety team at White Hart Lane spoke highly of the behaviour of travelling Blues fans on past visits.

"We do not want that opinion to change.

"Any fans involved in indecent chanting or disorder will be dealt with by Portsmouth Football Club, with the possibility of a lifetime ban. They will also be dealt with by the police.

"Please don't let your club down."

Redknapp, who left Fratton Park for Spurs at the end of October, looks set to try to further strengthen his squad during the transfer window, having been linked with a loan move for Inter Milan striker Adriano.

Although Spurs have one eye on the Carling Cup final at Wembley, they slipped back into the bottom three of the Premier League following Sunday's stoppage-time defeat at Wigan.

Redknapp lambasted some of his players for lacking the stomach for a relegation dogfight, while captain Ledley King has warned Spurs will go down if they do not dramatically improve.

Midfielder Jamie O'Hara knows things must improve - and fast.

"We are all gutted, but we have to pick ourselves up," he said.

"We should not be in this position and we have to start picking results up now."

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