Action against Discrimination and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have called on Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, The FA and the Metropolitan Police to remind fans of their behaviour ahead of the match at Wembley Stadium.
Over the years, fixtures between the two teams have been marred by disgusting anti-Semitic chanting, directed at Tottenham Hotspur supporters, who have been nicknamed the ‘Yids’. They have also been subjected to sickening hissing taunts mimicking gas chambers used to murder Jews during the Holocaust.
While the two clubs, along with the police and footballing authorities are aware of the problem, AAD and the BOD are asking for all parties to remind fans ahead of the game at Wembley Stadium via their social media platforms, that there is a zero tolerance approach towards racism in football and that offenders will be treated severely.
AAD and BOD believe the offensive racist chants and songs have absolutely no place in society and would be met with severe reprimands and punishment if displayed in any other walk of life – it therefore shouldn’t be any different if carried out within the confines of a football stadium and the surrounding area.
AAD chairman Jonathan Metliss said: “It’s about time that the vile chanting from the Chelsea supporters towards Tottenham Hotspur supporters is brought to an end. AAD is endeavouring to ensure that this will not take place at the forthcoming Chelsea vs Spurs FA Cup semi-final and to the extent that it does, all offenders should be appropriately dealt with.”
BOD President Jonathan Arkush and Vice President Marie van der Zyl said: “Sick racist chanting 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.”
Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, has urged supporters not to partake in any form of racist chanting – and encouraged those who witness such abuse to report it to them. Putting their support behind AAD and the BOD, they released a statement ahead of the match saying: “Professional clubs are supporting our ‘Call Full Time On Hate’ initiative following the increase in hate crime incidents. All supporters are clearly required to conduct themselves appropriately and not take part in discriminatory or abusive chants or behaviour.
“Should any supporters witness any such incidents they can report to Kick It Out using the organisation’s reporting app, reporting at kickitout.org or by phoning 0800 169 9414.”