The Community Security Trust has condemned the “totally unacceptable level of antisemitic abuse” revealed by a Channel Four documentary into racism and homophobia in professional football this week.
The documentary Hate on the Terraces, broadcast on Monday as part of the popular Dispatches series, showed secretly-filmed footage of supporters directing antisemitic chants against Tottenham Hotspur fans in and outside football stadiums.
In one Premier League in October, West Ham United fans were filmed mocking Jews for having “big noses” and singing: “I’ve got a foreskin, f****** Jew”.
In a second game against Spurs — a club known for having a large Jewish following — West Ham supporters are caught on film chanting taunts such as “Hitler is coming for you” and “I’d rather be a P*ki than a Jew”.
At another game in September, Chelsea supporters were filmed making loud hissing noises, to sound like gas chambers during the Holocaust.
Piara Powar, a member of the anti-discrimination taskforce at world football body FIFA, told the programme he believed that Premier and Football League clubs with a “significant voice” within the Football Association might be preventing the FA from imposing punishments on fans who are repeatedly racist.
The documentary also showed that in a number of cases of Islamophobia and homophobia by supporters, the abuse took place directly in front of stewards and police officers who did not act or report the incidents.
Mark Gardner, communications director of CST, said: “Those who regularly attend matches may not have been surprised by what the programme revealed, namely a totally unacceptable level of antisemitic abuse, especially from London rivals of Spurs. The problem has to be treated with the same seriousness as other forms of race hatred.”