Spurs Respond in 'Yid Army' Debate

By Hughes, Matt | The Evening Standard (London, England), March 7, 2003 | Go to article overview

Spurs Respond in 'Yid Army' Debate


Hughes, Matt, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: MATT HUGHES

TOTTENHAM have admitted that many supporters who call themselves the "Yid Army" do not recognise the racist connotations behind the phrase.

But the club did concede that while chairman Daniel Levy was "sensitive to the issue" some fans did use it as a "call to arms" to identify themselves as a group.

The highly emotive subject was propelled into the footballing spotlight this week during a UEFA antiracism conference at Stamford Bridge.

Both Chelsea chairman Ken Bates and Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein condemned the use of the anti-Semitic phrase but admitted it could be difficult to deal with when many Spurs fans used it to describe themselves.

The word "Yid" is generally used as a derogatory term for a Jewish person and Spurs have a large proportion of Jewish fans.

The north London club have not commented publicly but have responded to fans who have written to them on the issue. Standard Sport have obtained one of these letters, written by a member of the Spurs staff under instruction from chairman Levy.

It said: "The chairman is sensitive to this issue and I should stress that he made it clear to me when discussing this with him that he understands your concerns.

"However, many of our fans tend to use this chant as a call to arms when using the reference. Those who know how sensitive this word can be with our Jewish fans would certainly choose not to chant it, but I expect many that chant it do not understand its context.

"If the word were used with the intent to upset certain crowd members we would of course take action. However it seems that it is used more fondly by our own fans."

Tottenham Supporters' Trust chairman Daniel Wynne also claimed fans were happy with the term. …

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