Racism in football: Police investigating West Ham supporters filmed singing anti-Semitic chant prior to Manchester United match
Police are investigating fans seen on video chanting anti-Semitic slurs prior to Saturday’s Premier League defeat by Manchester United.
West Ham have vowed to ban for life a group of supporters filmed singing the abuse prior to the game.
In the latest in a series of alleged racist incidents this week, the fans were filmed singing an abusive song about London rivals Tottenham, who have a large Jewish following, on a tram before the Hammers’ match at Old Trafford
The short clip has since been shared thousands of times on social media and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said on Sunday they are investigating and appealed for information.
Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Boyce of GMP said: “Racism of any kind has no place in our society and I would like to reassure the public that we are taking this matter extremely seriously.
“Here in Manchester we pride ourselves on making sure fans from far and wide are welcomed and it is disappointing that a small few have brought shame on football in this way.
“Let me be really clear – racial abuse will not be tolerated and anyone that partakes in this kind of behaviour can expect to be investigated by the police.
“We welcome West Ham United’s statement which quite rightly condemns these disgusting and abhorrent slurs and we will endeavour to work closely with them to identify those in the video and I would also ask anyone with any footage of the incident or information they think can help us in our enquires to please contact us immediately and pass this on.”
Shortly after the footage appeared, West Ham issued a statement which read: “We are disgusted by the contents of the video circulating on social media this evening.
“We are taking immediate action to try to identify the offenders, whose details we will be handing over to the police and will be banned for life from London Stadium and from travelling with the club.
“West Ham United is unequivocal in its stance – there is no place for this kind of behaviour at our club. We do not want people like this associated with West Ham United.
“They are not welcome at our club, they are not welcome in civilised society.”
Equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out tweeted: “We received a report of a video of a group of West Ham fans chanting vile antisemitic abuse today. We welcome the swift and positive response of @WestHamUtd and support the club’s determination to ban the perpetrators.”
On Thursday night Chelsea denied three individuals entry to their Europa League match at Slavia Prague after they were identified as being involved in a social media video which included a racially abusive chant about Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.
On the same night, Arsenal condemned racist abuse directed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly during their Europa League win at the Emirates Stadium, and also said they would issue its perpetrator a life ban.
The recent spate of incidents of racial abuse have prompted FIFA president Gianni Infantino to urge everyone in the game to adopt a zero tolerance approach – and give referees the power to abandon matches.
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In a statement issued earlier on Saturday, Infantino said: “In recent days, it has been very sad to see a number of racist incidents in football. This is really not acceptable. Racism has no place in football, just as it has no place in society either.
“FIFA stands together with Prince Gouano, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose, as well as any other player, coach, fan or participant in a football match who has suffered from racism, whether at the highest professional level or in a school playground. Racism needs to end. Full stop.
“We introduced the so-called ‘three-step procedure’ at our tournaments: a mechanism that allows referees to go as far as to abandon a match in case of discriminatory incidents.
“FIFA urges all member associations, leagues, clubs and disciplinary bodies to adopt the same procedure, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of racism in football, and to apply harsh sanctions for any such kind of behaviour.”
On Friday night, a match in Ligue 1 was stopped for several minutes after Amiens defender Prince Gouano suffered alleged racial abuse at Dijon.
A man was arrested after the incident, which led to 25-year-old Gouano asking for play to be stopped in the closing stages of the goalless draw.
Last month monkey chants were aimed at England players during a Euro 2020 qualifier away to Montenegro, after which Tottenham defender Danny Rose said he was looking forward to retiring from a game which has done too little to tackle the problem.
Meanwhile, England and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has rejected the proposal of walking off the pitch, insisting doing so would simply ‘let the racists win’.
Source: SportsLatest TS