England footballers line up against hate chants

By Marcus Dysch, April 14, 2011
Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

A short film featuring England footballers has been launched to tackle antisemitic abuse and chants in the beautiful game.

The Y Word, written by comedian David Baddiel and his writer brother Ivor, highlights the use of the word "Yid" and fans hissing to imitate gas chambers at matches.

The minute-long film, which also features former England captain Gary Lineker, will be shown at Premier League grounds before matches.

Footballers including Tottenham's Ledley King, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs, England women's star Rachel Yankey and Zesh Rehman, the Premier League's first British Asian player, feature in the film.

It is supported by all the country's football authorities, including the FA, the Football League and the Professional Footballers' Association, and organisations including anti-racism campaign Kick It Out, Maccabi GB and CST.

The Baddiel brothers, who are both Chelsea fans, said they felt action had to be taken after years of hearing antisemitic abuse at matches.

David Baddiel said: "Antisemitism is the 'other' racism in football and, because it so lags behind in visibility to racial abuse of black players, it is hardly ever discussed.

"It is virtually impossible to be Jewish and male and not interested in football, and I know that Jewish fans all dread the starting up of these chants."

Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal chief executive, said: "Given the club's proximity to some of the country's largest Jewish communities, stamping out antisemitism is something we have, historically, paid particular attention to." Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, and Tottenham executive Donna Cullen, said their clubs were committed to eliminating antisemitism from the game.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said: "We hope The Y Word has a positive impact in educating football fans. The 'think again' message is clear for those who use chants including the 'y' word."

Watch the video here

Last updated: 11:43am, April 14 2011