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Robert Peston: Circumcision chants at Wembley final made me ashamed to be an Arsenal fan

ITV presenter says he is "ashamed" to support Arsenal after witnessing fans engaging in antisemitic chants ahead of the club's Carabao Cup Final defeat against Manchester City on Sunday

    Robert Peston attending an earlier Barclays Premier League game with Norwich City chairman Ed Balls photo credit: PA Images
    Robert Peston attending an earlier Barclays Premier League game with Norwich City chairman Ed Balls photo credit: PA Images

    ITV presenter Robert Peston has said he was left “ashamed to be Arsenal supporter” after some of the club’s fans engaged in antisemitic chants outside Wembley Stadium at the weekend.

    The Peston on Sunday host claimed he felt “racially abused” as his “alleged fellow supporters” sung a song suggesting that unlike rival Spurs fans, male Arsenal fans remain uncircumcised – a reference to Spurs’ large Jewish following.

    The ITV political editor and Speakers for Schools founder was so angered by what he heard ahead of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup Final match against Manchester City at Wembley, he posted two messages on his personal Twitter feed.

    Mr Peston wrote:” One of those moments when I am ashamed to be Arsenal supporter on way to Wembley because moron gooners singing anti-Semitic song about how they have foreskins & Spurs fans don’t.

    “Well many of us truer supporters are circumcised as is their/our hero Ozil (I assume). Shut the f up.”

    He then added in a second posting:” Afternoon started with me feeling racially abused by alleged fellow supporters. It continued with my beloved team capitulating in most spineless way.”

    There have been a series of previous instances in which fans from Arsenal, West Ham and Chelsea have been filmed singing antisemitic songs about Tottenham fans.

    Chelsea recently launched a high-profile campaign aimed at combating antisemitism as part of the club’s ongoing inclusion work. The initiative was supported by the club’s owner Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish, and the Community Security Trust.

    Spurs fans have faced criticism over their own use of the word “Yids” in numerous chants, but they claim the word is used in a celebratory rather than abusive fashion.

    In a statement Arsenal Football Club said: “We absolutely condemn any form of anti-Semitism at the club. 

    We work hard to encourage diversity and inclusion through The Arsenal for Everyone programme and will continue to drive forward this campaign to our supporters.”

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