‘Big nose’ jibes mar Lions win


London Lions coach Darren Yarlett says he is appalled by the levels of antisemitic abuse directed at his team during their Spartan South Midlands League clash against Cranfield United.

Yarlett claims that the top exclusively Jewish team in the country received constant barracking from the United bench in a match they won 6-0.

He said the contest was marred by several unsavoury comments, adding: "The only sour note was the disgusting racial abuse some of the lads received. The Cranfield players were no trouble, but the management and coaches should take a long hard look at themselves, when we are in a period of Kick it Out. I think the campaign needs to take a look at the lower leagues.

"During the first half, Jake Gottlieb was told to get his shekels out and was called 'big nose'. The abuse deteriorated in the second half as they targeted Ben Ellis. There were several digs about being a Jewish this and a big nose that.

"When Jake was doing his warm-down after being substituted and stretching on the sidelines," he told their manager there is a difference between a bit of banter and throwing racist comments, to which the Cranfield boss replied: '**** off, you are not black'."

Yarlett says that the officials “must have heard” some of the remarks, but did not act.

But Cranfield manager Lee Bearman believes the incidents were no more than “a storm in a tea cup” and offered a full apology.

"If I did offend anybody then I’m really sorry because I didn’t mean for them to take it that way,” he said.

"I did call their player ‘big nose’ but I call everyone big nose. I’m always calling my goalkeeper big nose.

"We’re a really friendly village club, we have a lot of black players and we do not tolerate any kind of racism.

"I thought Lions played very well and are a top team and after the whistle we all shook hands and nobody mentioned anything.

"There was a lot of banter going on between me and their players, but after the game a couple of their players came up to me and shook hands and said that it was good banter.

"I think somebody is trying to make a storm out of a tea cup because nobody said anything to us after the game.

"But again, if people did take it the wrong way, then I’m sorry because I’d hate to upset anyone. Lions are a good side and we look forward to playing them again.”

Meanwhile, Toto Tamuz, the Nigeria-born Israeli striker, claimed he was subjected to monkey chants during Hapoel Tel Aviv’s defeat at Betar Jerusalem.

The former Betar player, who was sent off after putting his finger to his lips in the direction of the home fans after scoring, said: "This was a subdued celebration considering I had been suffering monkey chants and curses since the kick off."

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