Spanish newspaper Marca has apologised to Tottenham after publishing an article in which it claimed the club are disliked because of their “Jewish origin”.
The piece, published on Monday ahead of Spurs’ Champions League visit to Real Madrid, described the north London club as “hated, but with good footballing style”, adding “their Jewish origin has made them into a club disliked by rival fans”.
Despite having no Jewish origins, Tottenham have frequently been targeted with anti-Semitic chants, while Tottenham fans refer to themselves as ‘yids’ – a practice the Football Association would like to see ended.
Upon learning of the story in Marca – which carried a photo of Harry Kane across its front page – Spurs issued a robust response.
“We are astonished that a publication such as Marca, which presents itself as an alleged source of professional journalism, has seen fit to publish such an article which is blatantly wrong and wholly distasteful,” a spokesman said.
Marca subsequently claimed that the exact meaning of the word “hated” had been lost in translation, but apologised for the offence caused.
“It has generated controversy in England because of a mis-translation of the term ‘hated’, which also featured in the copy,” a statement released by the newspaper said.
“The ‘hatred’ that Tottenham suffers is very focused on the radical and racist groups that are hiding in society, especially among the fans of Chelsea and West Ham. Obviously, these groups do not represent the English game or society.
“We regret the confusion that has been created in this respect. The intention was not to damage the image of Tottenham – a club we respect, value and admire.
“We do not want to serve as a mouthpiece for these racist minorities, which remain within football and which use any pretext to spread their messages of hate, which we reject head-on.”