Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged Tottenham Hotspur fans to refrain from using the ‘Yid Army’ chant.
Speaking at a Show Racism the Red Card event at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, The Guardian quoted him as saying: “There has been racist abuse at past matches between Arsenal and Spurs, instances of anti-Semitism and homophobia. Yes, football fans get very passionate but that is not acceptable and not allowed. Yid chants are unacceptable, it plays into something that’s not very good and we should be saying: ‘We’re the Spurs’ or ‘We’re the Arsenal’. Stick to your club, it’s your club that unites you.”
The Arsenal fan, who was also speaking ahead of this weekend’s north London derby between the two sides at Wembley, added: “The idea of adopting a term to neutralise it doesn’t really work because it is identifying a club by an ethnic group or faith, whereas you should be identifying club through supporters. Calling Arsenal fans Gooners or Gunners is fine because that is what it is because of the origins or heritage of the club.”
Mr Corbyn added: “You know yourselves when you’re playing on the pitch and you’re doing well and everybody is cheering you, it’s great, wonderful, everybody’s behind me, I’m getting goals, I’m doing well.
“But when you’re playing badly and you’re not having a great game and people start getting on your back and shouting at you, that’s not nice.
“But when they’re shouting at you because you’re black, because you’re Asian, because you’re Muslim, because you’re Jewish, because you’re Hindu, that is wrong and utterly disgusting.”
Following the speech, Mr Corbyn was inundated with children asking for autographs before helping with activities and workshops.