FA says football fans using Y-word could be banned

By Josh Jackman, September 10, 2013
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Football fans (Photo: Flickr / Jon Candy)

Football fans (Photo: Flickr / Jon Candy)

The Football Association has said it regards ‘yid’ as an offensive term, and has warned fans they could face criminal charges for using it.

In a statement, FA general secretary Alex Horne said his organisation believes that the word “is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer and considers the term to be inappropriate in a football setting.”

Mr Horne added that “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.”

The organisation, which oversees football in England, admitted that “language is a complex issue,” and that in some cases, “use of the term is a ‘badge of honour’ and is not intended to be offensive.”

Some supporters of Tottenham Hotspur refer to themselves as the “Yid Army”.

However, the FA concluded that “for the betterment of the game, rules on acceptable behaviour and language need to be simple, understandable and applicable to all people at all levels of the game.”

The Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism in Britain, welcomed the move, and said it was “pleased to see the FA taking steps to address antisemitism specifically.

“The Y-word causes offence to many people, Jewish and non-Jewish, however it is intended, and its historic association with Mosley’s fascists and continued use by antisemites outside football mean that it has no place in football grounds or anywhere else.”

Last updated: 4:39pm, September 10 2013