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January 19, 2023 12:04 pm
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British Soccer Team Investigates ‘Disturbing’ Antisemitic Incidents Surrounding Weekend Match

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avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Emirates Stadium, Arsenal’s home stadium. Photo: Nazmi Amin-Tai via Wikimedia Commons

The British soccer team Arsenal said on Wednesday that it is investigating two incidents of alleged antisemitism that took place on Sunday as the team competed in the North London Derby against their local rivals the Tottenham Hotspurs.

One incident took place at the live match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where an Arsenal fan was heard making “grossly offensive antisemitic statements,” Arsenal said in a released statement. The second incident took place at a bar in Islington, where Jewish comedian Katie Price along with her friend were violently harassed and threatened by fellow Arsenal supporters, who were chanting an antisemitic slur. Arsenal, which won Sunday’s game 2-0, said it was “appalled” when it was notified about the incident targeting Price.

The Premier League team noted that both “disturbing” cases from Sunday “are now under investigation.”

“We recognize the impact this behavior has on our many Jewish supporters and others and condemn the use of language of this nature, which has no place in our game or society,” the team said in its statement. It added that it wants Arsenal to remain “a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, and we want to be clear that any kind of discriminatory abuse is not welcome at our club.”

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“We will not stand for this kind of behavior and will take strong action against any supporters who we establish are responsible for such acts. Anyone identified will receive a lengthy club ban and their details will be passed to the police to commence legal proceedings.”

Arsenal concluded its statement by encouraging its fans to report “any form of discriminatory behavior” to police, including incidents that take inside its stadium.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was also almost attacked by a Tottenham fan at the end of Sunday’s game. Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that Joseph Watts, 35, from Hackney in east London, was charged with assault and is expected to appear in court on Feb. 17.

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