Baddiels use film to tackle football hate

David Baddiel

David Baddiel

Comedian David Baddiel and his writer brother, Ivor, are making a short film in a bid to curb antisemitism in football.

The Y Word is a two-minute film which will feature Premiership footballers and highlight the use of the word “Yid” in football chants.

The brothers, both keen Chelsea fans, are now rounding up footballers to feature in the film, which has the backing of the FA, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Premier League and campaigners Kick Racism out of Football. The plan is to screen it before matches with a likely completion early next year.

Ivor Baddiel, 46, said that after years of hearing antisemitic chants at football matches, he snapped at a match last year and confronted a fan who was shouting “F**k the Jews”.

Mr Baddiel said: “Every London football fan has heard those kinds of chants. It’s one of the few times in my life that I cracked and told him to shut up. Afterwards I was expecting a knife in my back, I was terrified.

“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and spurred me to make this film.”

He said that at other matches he had heard antisemitic songs and even fans hissing to imitate gas chambers.

Footballer Yossi Benayoun

Footballer Yossi Benayoun

He said: “In the 21st century, we strive to have a culture that has zero-tolerance for any form of racism. It’s a noble aim and this film will try to contribute to that.

“We think this is an issue that needs discussing and we hope the film will spark a debate.”

Mr Baddiel said that the chants were not just aimed at Tottenham fans who call themselves the “Yid Army” due to the club’s reputation of having a Jewish fanbase.

He said: “If it was any other racist word, people would be up in arms.

“Some people think it’s just a light-hearted chant by Tottenham fans, but if that is the case then why do people chant it at Israeli players who have never played for Tottenham..”

Meanwhile, Chelsea FC has pledged to find and ban supporters filmed singing antisemitic songs about rivals Tottenham at a match last month.

Clips of fans chanting at Stoke City were posted on YouTube and Spurs has now complained to Chelsea.

Chelsea has passed the clips to police.

    Last updated: 4:20pm, October 8 2009