The English Football Association (FA) today launched an investigation into reports of antisemitic abuse leveled at Tottenham supporters by fans of West Ham United. The two teams squared off Sunday at White Hart Lane, Tottenham’s home turf. Tottenham won the match 3-1.
Witnesses said that West Ham supporters sang “Viva Lazio”, “Can we stab you every week?” and hissed on several occasions, a gesture meant to mimic the mass execution of Jews during the Holocaust.
The incident comes after several supporters of the Tottenham club were attacked in a bar in Rome last week. One person was stabbed in that scuffle. Reports indicated antisemitic remarks were shouted at the fans and that the assailants were fans of Lazio, a club based in Rome whose supporters often identify as ultra-nationalists. The latter claim proved false.
Tottenham has also been in the news recently because of concerns over the nickname used by many of its fans, “Yid Army.” The moniker is meant to reference the large Jewish fan base of the team.
The FA released a statement that read in part: “There is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination in football. The FA is committed to working with the clubs, Leagues, fans groups, the police, CPS and community stakeholders to play our part in addressing this unacceptable behaviour.”