Spanish journalist says claim that Spurs are hated for their Jewish origins was “misinterpreted”

The London club said it was "astonished" by the article in daily sport newspaper Marca


The Spanish journalist who wrote that Tottenham Hotspur are “hated” for their Jewish origins says the comment has been misinterpreted and he regrets the “confusion” caused.

Enrique Ortega, a senior reporter for Madrid-based sports daily Marca, printed the claim on Monday in a preview of Spurs’ Champions League clash with Spanish champions Real Madrid.

The London club said it was “astonished” by the article.

Mr Ortega wrote: “Their Jewish origin has made them into a club disliked by rival fans.

“But in their 135 years of existence they have always had style and great players.”

The piece ran with photos of former Tottenham players Ossie Ardiles, Ricky Villa and Paul Gascoigne – as well as Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, who now play for Real Madrid.



Mr Ortega subsequently said he regretted the “confusion” on the issue, which he put down to an “erroneous interpretation” of the term “hated”.

In a clarification he wrote: “That 'hatred' that Tottenham suffers is very focused on the radical and racist groups that are hiding in the social mass, especially Chelsea and West Ham.”

These groups did not represent British society, he said, adding: “I regret the confusion that has been created in this respect. The intention was not to damage the image of Tottenham, a club we respect, value… and we do not want to serve as a speaker to these racist minorities who use any pretext to expand their hate messages, which we reject head-on.”

A Tottenham Hotspur statement read: “We are astonished that a publication such as Marca, which presents itself as an alleged source of professional journalism, has seen fit to publish such an article which is blatantly wrong and wholly distasteful.”

While Spurs have a relatively large Jewish following, the club was actually founded in 1882 by members of Hotspur Cricket Club, with the help of a Bible class teacher from a local church.

Chelsea FC recently called on their supporters to end antisemitic chants about Tottenham in a song paying to tribute to Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata, which used the word ‘Yid’, a pejorative term for Jews.

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