A Tottenham Hotspur fan has been given an official police warning for chanting the Y word, in what is believed to be the first such incident since the Football Association issued its crackdown on the use of the word.
Paul Baines was handed the written warning while watching last Saturday’s match between Spurs and Chelsea at Spurs’ White Hart Lane stadium.
According to Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust chairman Darren Alexander: “Mr Baines was sitting in block 32 of the south-east corner of the ground, where everyone was singing things like ‘we’ll sing what we want’ and ‘Yid army’.
“As he went down to take a refreshment at half time, he was pulled aside and issued with the warning, but he wasn’t ejected. We’re still waiting for the police’s version of events.”
The Metropolitan police confirmed Mr Baines, who is not believed to be Jewish, was issued with the warning:
A spokesman said: “An individual was spoken to by police and formally warned concerning their language. The individual complied and no further action was taken.”
He added that “leaflets warning fans about the use of unacceptable language” had been issued to supporters chanting the Y-word at the game.
The incident follows the Football Association’s guidance last month that supporters using the term “Yid” could be liable to criminal charges.
This move angered many Jewish and non-Jewish Spurs fans who refer to themselves as “Yid army” and to the club’s players as “Yiddos”.
According to Tottenham Hotspur, a statement had been posted on the club’s website before the game, warning that police may take action against supporters using the Y-word within the stadium.
Mr Alexander said the supporters’ trust had taken legal advice on the issue. “This turn of events is a worry because we thought that the one place our fans would be okay was White Hart Lane. We will try to give Mr Baines as much support as we can.”