Warning over antisemitic chanting ahead of Spurs-Chelsea Premier League match

Anti-racist charity and Board of Deputies express concern over fixture at Wembley


Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea football clubs have been warned to remind fans that racist behaviour is not tolerated ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash.

Previous matches between the two teams – including April’s FA Cup semi-final – have been marred by antisemitic abuse directed towards Tottenham fans, from both the stands and on social media.

The Board of Deputies and Action against Discrimination (AAD), a charity set up to combat racism in football, have asked the two clubs – as well as the Football Association and the Metropolitan Police – to post warnings to fans on their social media profiles.

The Board and AAD have said offensive and racist chants have “absolutely no place in society”.

In a statement, Board president Jonathan Arkush and vice-president Marie van der Zyl said: “Sick racist chanting of the type heard at this year’s FA Cup semi-final has been an enduring part of the football scene in this country for far too long now.

“It is a criminal offence and any perpetrators should be arrested and feel the full force of the law.”

Jonathan Metliss, the AAD chairman, added: “A new football season is upon us and sadly the issue of the matter of antisemitism in the game still persists. AAD and the relevant authorities are doing their utmost to curtail it. It must be eradicated.”

Lord Ouseley, the chair of Kick It Out, reminded fans who witness racist or antisemitic abuse to report it to his organisation, either online or on 0800 169 9414.

Sunday's fixture will be Spurs' first Premier League match at Wembley, the club's temporary home while its new stadium is being built at White Hart Lane.

A spokesman for Spurs said: “Antisemitism in any form is wholly unacceptable and we support all efforts to kick it out of the game.

“It is an issue we monitored closely at White Hart Lane and our approach will be the same at Wembley. We always liaise with the police and Chelsea ahead of our matches.”

Superintendent Simon Causer, who will be the police commander in charge at the match, said: "The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to working with our partners to tackle all types of hate crime, including racism and the use of antisemitic language.

"Such allegations are taken very seriously, and any reported instances during the game will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with on an individual basis in line with CPS guidelines."

He added: "Families with children will be among those attending, and so we'd encourage everyone to ensure their behaviour is respectful and to enjoy the occasion.”

It has also been revealed that Chelsea fans who have purchased tickets for seats in any section of the stadium allocated for Spurs fans, will be ejected rather than reseated in a different stand.

Chelsea and the FA have been approached for comment.

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