Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tottenham Start Debate on Controversial Chanting; FootballTalk

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tottenham Start Debate on Controversial Chanting; FootballTalk

Article excerpt


TOTTENHAM have held talks with antiracist campaigners over the best way to handle their fans' use of the "Yid" identity. The issue was highlighted when a handful of Southend fans were ejected from the recent FA Cup tie for making Nazi salutes. Piara Power, director of Kick It Out, believes Spurs' fans should stop glorifying the club's Jewish links because it can provoke anti-Semitism among opponents. But members of the "Yid Army" argue the chanting is more of a defence mechanism against racist rivals who initiate the abuse. Power said: "Campaigners against anti-Semitism would be more comfortable if Tottenham fans drew a line under this term. Cultural identity does not get turned round overnight, but we need to open the debate and we are talking to the club about this."

The club does not condone any form of racial chanting and have banned their shops from printing "Yid" on the back of fans' shirts. But Spurs want the football authorities to do more to stamp out anti-Semitic abuse at away grounds before considering any further measures against their own fans.

Butcher is yesterday's man

*TERRY BUTCHER is preparing to leave town after being axed as boss of Sydney FC in the wake of a bitter dispute with Hollywood actor Anthony LaPaglia. The Aussie star of hit US series 'Without A Trace' is a seven per cent shareholder in the A-league club and has struggled to hide his contempt for Butcher. The pair have not spoken since an October board meeting when LaPaglia failed to oust the former England captain, but he has now won out.

The Golden Globe winner blamed Butcher's defensive tactics for a fall in attendances and, asked if recently he had any desire to end the feud, LaPaglia said: "Not really. I don't need to talk to him and he doesn't need to talk to me."

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