Jewish advocacy groups condemn antisemtic slur in soccer games

The team historically was called the ‘Yid Army’ because of its large Jewish fan base.

January 6, 2019 12:34
1 minute read.
Tottenham players celebrate with fans after scoring a goal [file]

Tottenham players celebrate with fans 370. (photo credit: reuters)


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The World Jewish Congress and the Board of Deputies of British Jews condemned the use of the word ‘Yid’ on Friday because of its use towards Tottenham Hotspur soccer fans.

The team historically was called the ‘Yid Army’ because of its large Jewish fan base.

“Contrary to the protests of many fans, there is no grey area when it comes to slurs that target a particular religious, racial, or ethnic group," WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said. "The word yid has for years been re-appropriated from its original Yiddish to carry a distinctly pejorative and antisemitic message, and its use by fans in the stands, either as a self-designated nickname or as a slogan against rivals must not be tolerated in any way."

“There has sadly been a long history of hooliganism and extremist behavior within football, particularly in England," Singer said. "We hope that the actions being taken in good faith by Chelsea’s leadership to take punitive measures against any supporters that violate this code of conduct will help establish the groundwork for more tolerance among fans of all teams."

Chelsea FC and the World Jewish Congress took the lead against antisemitism in soccer last year and launched a program to fight racism, xenophobia, discrimination and antisemitism.

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