Soccer Coach Supports Lifetime Ban For Fans Engaging in Anti-Semitic Behavior
West Ham soccer coach Sam Allardyce has condemned fans who chanted anti-Semitic slurs at the the Tottenham Hotspurs on Sunday. According to The Huffington Post UK, “A section of Hammers supporters made Nazi salutes and hissing noises – mimicking the gassing of Jews in the Holocaust – as well as singing Adolf Hitler chants.” According to Israel Hayom, some West Ham fans also praised Italian club Lazio, which was allegedly involved in the stabbing of a Jewish Tottenham fan in Rome last week.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the chants included phrases such as “Can we stab you every week?” and “Adolf Hitler’s coming to get you.”
Now, Allardyce is calling for fans who engage in such behavior to be barred from soccer matches in the UK for life. “I was very, very disappointed to hear what went on from a small minority.” The Huffington Post quotes him as saying. “Nobody condones it. We have zero tolerance at the club and the authorities deal with it. I don’t wish to hear any of that chanting.”
According to The Guardian, Allardyce encouraged authorities to punish fans who made light of the Holocaust “as strongly as possible.” The Guardian also quotes Allardyce as saying, “The good thing is with CCTV cameras it’s difficult to get away with. They can be picked out and punished accordingly.” He said that he believed that if those responsible for the anti-Semitic chanting were punished appropriately, it could put an end to such behavior.
Allardyce had been criticized immediately after the game for his failure to condemn those who had chanted anti-Semitic slurs, but he responded by saying that he had not heard the chanting until reviewing footage of the game after the press had originally questioned him. Upon reviewing the footage, says The Guardian, Allardyce voiced his disgust at the behavior.
Ironically, Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun was playing for West Ham during Sunday’s game. According to Israel Hayom, he said that he found the chanting “embarrassing” and that he was very disappointed to “hear some of the songs yesterday.”
Israel Hayom also reports that The English Football Association is currently collecting video footage of fans uttering racial slurs and is encouraging soccer clubs to “identify and ban for life any individuals involved in incidents of abusive chanting.”
Filed Under: Politics
About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda