West Ham United has condemned alleged antisemitic chanting by its supporters directed at an Orthodox Jewish man on a plane.
The incident took place on a flight to Belgium, where fans were travelling to watch the London club play Genk in the Europa League.
In a clip posted on social media by Away Day Bible, supporters of the club can be heard singing about arch-rivals Tottenham, referencing genitalia and circumcision, as an Orthodox Jewish man walks down the gangway of the Ryanair flight. The clip has now been removed by Away Day Bible.
Tottenham has a historic following from the Jewish community, which has led to antisemitic chants from opposition fans in the past.
West Ham United spokesperson said: “West Ham United is appalled by the contents of the video circulating on social media and condemn the behaviour of the individuals involved. The Club is liaising with the airline and relevant authorities to identify the individuals.
“We continue to be unequivocal in our stance – we have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination. Any individuals identified will be issued with an indefinite ban from the Club”.
Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl condemned the chanting, saying: “This is a particularly horrible example of a Jewish man being subjected to abuse and humiliation. Thankfully, the culprits have been captured on social media. West Ham have set exactly the right example – hate will only be tackled in our society when we all take responsibility, as West Ham have done in promising to impose lifetime bans. We also call on the police to investigate this clear instance of inciting racial hatred.”
Lord John Mann, the government’s independent adviser on antisemitism, posted on Twitter, saying it was “one for met [police] and West Ham to prosecute. And for me and others to make sure they do.”
Ryanair has been approached for comment.
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