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West Ham United suspend youth coach for attending DFLA march

West Ham United have confirmed to ESPN FC that they have suspended a youth team coach for attending a march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA). 

Mark Phillips, who now faces losing his job of coaching West Ham's under-18s, went to the march in London on Saturday before tweeting his support of the DFLA, who have been condemned by anti-discrimination bodies such as Kick it Out

The event turned violent as the DFLA's path was blocked by anti-racism protesters in the city centre, although Phillips said on Twitter that he had gone home earlier in the day. 

West Ham have suspended the coach, pending an investigation, and said in a statement sent to ESPN FC that they have a zero tolerance policy to any forms of discrimination. 

"West Ham United is an inclusive football club," the Premier League side said. "Regardless of gender, age, race, ability, religion or sexual orientation, every supporter within our diverse fanbase is warmly welcomed at London Stadium, free to enjoy watching their team play football without fear, discrimination or abuse.

"We have a zero tolerance policy to any form of violent or abusive behaviour. We continue to protect and cherish those values and we remain committed to ensuring every single member of the West Ham family feels safe, respected and included."

The DFLA, which says it opposes "all extremism wherever it stems from" on its Twitter page, was set up in 2017 following the London Bridge attack. 

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