Premier League - Spurs fans could face prosecution for 'Y' word

The FA has warned fans of all clubs – including Tottenham – that they could face criminal charges if they use the ‘Y’ word at matches.

Premier League - Spurs fans could be arrested for saying 'Yid'

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Tottenham fans

‘Yid’, an abbreviation of the old Jewish-European language ‘Yiddish’, is widely used as a derogatory term to describe people of Semitic origin.

But the term has been ‘reclaimed’ by Tottenham fans, who have been the subject of anti-Semitic abuse on account of their large Jewish fanbase, and has since become synonymous with the North London club.

The FA, however, feels the term has no place in the modern game, and has warned that its use will be treated like any other racial or prejudicial epithet.

“The FA considers that the use of the term ‘Yid is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer and considers the term to be inappropriate in a football setting,” an FA statement read.

“The FA would encourage fans to avoid using it in any situation. Use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offence, and leave those fans liable to prosecution and potentially a lengthy Football Banning Order.”

Anti-Semitic abuse is occasionally heard at football matches, mostly against Tottenham but also Jewish players, such as Israel international Yossi Benayoun, who was abused by his own supporters while at Chelsea.

Three Tottenham fans were injured by far-right hooligans in Lyon before last season's Europa League match in France, with the assailants reportedly making Nazi salutes during the incident.

But Spurs fans, many of whom hail from areas heavily populated by Jewish people, refer to themselves as the ‘Yid Army’, chanting ‘Yids’ during matches as they wear their heritage as a badge of pride.

The FA does not accept his as a mitigating circumstance, and a confrontation now seems inevitable.

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