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Sam Allardyce: fans guilty of antisemitic chanting must be kicked out

27th November 2012

• ‘I was very disappointed to hear what went on,’ says Allardyce
• Co-chairman David Gold to lead investigation into chants

Sam Allardyce has condemned the West Ham supporters responsible for the antisemitic chanting that marred Sunday’s match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, urging the authorities to punish the perpetrators who mocked the Holocaust as strongly as possible.

Allardyce said that he had not been able to comment properly on the chants immediately after the game as he had not heard them but was disgusted at what he had seen having reviewed the footage since Sunday.

“I had no idea what had been said or done,” Allardyce said. “I wasn’t prepared to comment on it having not heard what went on. We were in a difficult position and I was not in a good mood. I was expecting to talk about football.

“I was very, very disappointed to hear what went on from a small minority. 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. I must stress it is a small minority. They should be thrown out of football. A small minority can make themselves heard when they want to. The good thing is with CCTV cameras it’s difficult to get away with. They can be picked out and punished accordingly. If we punish people in the right way we will stop it.”

West Ham’s on-loan Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun said he was embarrassed by the actions of the fans, who chanted about Adolf Hitler, made Nazi salutes and hissed in reference to the gas chambers in concentration camps. There were also chants mocking the attacks on Spurs fans in Rome last week, in which one fan, Ashley Mills, was stabbed in the head and leg.

“I have a great relationship with the West Ham United supporters, from my first spell at the club and again now I am back on loan here,” Benayoun tweeted. “This why I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing …

“But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I’m sure the fa together with west ham United football club will do everything to find and punish them.”

The club’s Jewish co-chairman David Gold said the club would adopt a zero tolerance policy towards any supporters found guilty of anti-semitism. Gold’s great-grandfather killed himself after suffering antisemitic abuse.

“We have a clear stance towards any kind of discriminatory behaviour – it will not be tolerated,” Gold said. “David and I are leading an investigation from the top of the club to establish exactly what happened at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

“If we can identify any individuals that have acted inappropriately they will be sought out and banned by the club as part of our zero tolerance policy.

“At the same time we must remember that West Ham United has some of the best fans in the land and we must not let the tens of thousands of supporters that follow our club over land and sea in exactly the right way be overlooked.”

The Metropolitan police are conducting an investigation and arrested and cautioned two West Ham fans for making Nazi salutes. West Ham have since identified one of the fans as a season ticket holder and have handed him a lifetime ban from the club.


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