WEST HAM and Tottenham fans have been warned they face arrest if they use the word “yid” at Sunday’s derby between the teams at White Hart Lane.
The Metropolitan Police’s match commander issued the statement yesterday, following crowd trouble at the same fixture last year.
“This topic has been debated at length but our position is clear: racism and offensive language have no place in football or indeed in society,” said chief superintendent Mick Johnson. “Supporters should be under no illusion they may be committing an offence and may be liable to a warning or be arrested.”
Prime Minister David Cameron has said Spurs fans should be allowed to refer to themselves as “yiddos” or “yid army” if they wish. The Football Association says that those who do risk bans or arrest.
Met Police added: “Some words, like the ‘Y’ word, which historically have been perceived by some as acceptable, cause harassment, alarm or distress to others, and people who use this language could be committing a criminal offence.”
Two West Ham supporters were cautioned by police and one banned by the club after last year’s fixture at Tottenham. Police probed claims Spurs fans – associated with the Jewish community – were subjected to taunts about Adolf Hitler and imitations of the hissing of gas chambers.