West Ham ban two fans following arrest on suspicion of a hate crime after anti-Semitic abuse on flight

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 (Essex Police)
(Essex Police)

West Ham have banned two fans following their arrest on suspicion of a hate crime after a video showed fans directing anti-Semitic abuse at a Jewish man.

A video on social media showed Hammers fans on a flight to Belgium directing offensive chants at the man as he took his seat on the flight.

Essex Police arrested two men, one aged 55 and the other aged 26, on suspicion of a hate crime as they returned to the UK from West Ham's trip to face Belgian side Genk on Thursday night.

The club said they were "appalled" by the footage and have moved quickly to issue interim bans for the two who have been arrested.

Both men were questioned by Essex Police and have been released on bail until December 1.

Essex Police Chief Superintendent, Tom Simons, who is leading the investigation, said this week: “Essex Police will not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind.

“Having been made aware of the incident this morning, officers worked quickly to secure an arrest at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Enquiries continue and Essex Police have asked anyone with relevant information to contact them by calling 101.

In response to the footage, on Thursday night a West Ham spokesperson said: “West Ham United is appalled by the contents of the video circulating on social media and condemn the behaviour of the individuals involved. The club is liaising with the airline and relevant authorities to identify the individuals.

“We continue to be unequivocal in our stance – we have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination. Any individuals identified will be issued with an indefinite ban from the club. Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the football club and we do not welcome any individuals who do not share those values.”

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