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September 11, 2013 4:30 pm

England’s Football Association Deems Word ‘Yid’ Offensive

avatar by Zach Pontz

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A "Yid Army" t-shirt worn by some supporters of English football club Tottenham Hotspur.

The Football Association of England has warned fans against using the term “yid,” saying it considers the term offensive.

In a statement posted to the Association’s website, FA general secretary Alex Horne said that “although the term derives from the Yiddish word for a Jew, its use in the English language has been, both historically and in contemporary use, derogatory and offensive.”

The FA, he stated, believes that the word “is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer and considers the term to be inappropriate in a football setting.”

Horne added that the “use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offense.”

Some supporters of Tottenham Hotspur, a club located in an historically Jewish neighborhood of London, refer to themselves as the “Yid Army,” a phrase even emblazoned on T-shirts.

The FA acknowledged that it is hard to determine which fans are using “Yid” in an “intentionally offensive manner” or when “use of the term is a ‘badge of honor’ and is not intended to be offensive.”

“Nevertheless, its use is still liable to cause offence to others, whether Jewish or not,” the FA said.

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  • Steven Dale

    I support Spurs. I use this term as a matter of pride in my club and its association with the local Jewish community. I only use it at matches, usually in response to the anti-semitic chants of the opposition supporters. It is no different from me using the Union Flag and reclaiming it from right-wing organisations who use it for racist reasons. The FA would be far better off dealing with the likes of Chelsea fans who hiss at Spurs’ supporters in the way gas was used in concentration camps in WWII.