West Ham warn fans on racism as probe into anti-Semitic chants gets under way
Last Updated: 23/02/15 2:51pm
West Ham supporters have been told they face life bans for inappropriate behaviour as an investigation is launched into anti-Semitic chants.
A video showing people thought to be West Ham fans singing racist songs was reported to Kick It Out over the weekend with the anti-discrimination group probing the incident with the help of the British Transport Police.
The video, filmed on the London Underground, emerged on Sunday following the 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane between the Hammers and Tottenham.
A Kick It Out statement said they had "received several reports via social media about the footage". They also added they had been informed of a "number of anti-Semitic tweets which we are reporting to the Police".
If any individual is found to have behaved in an inappropriate way, the Club's simple, zero-tolerance policy dictates that they will face the strongest possible action.
West Ham statement
The incident came two days after West Ham wrote to all fans going to the game reminding them of the club’s zero-tolerance attitude to racism and possible stadium bans.
On Monday, the club responded by issuing a warning to any fan found guilty and requested information from anybody who knew anything on the alleged incident.
A West Ham United spokesman said: "The club emailed every supporter who had bought a ticket to Sunday's game to remind them that they were acting as ambassadors for West Ham United.
”If any individual is found to have behaved in an inappropriate way, the Club's simple, zero-tolerance policy dictates that they will face the strongest possible action, including the option of a life ban from the Boleyn Ground.
"If anyone has any information on such behaviour we would urge them to report it to the Club, Kick It Out or the police so it can be investigated thoroughly.”
Lord Ousley, chairman of Kick It Out, was hugely critical of the response by football's governing bodies, including the Football Association, the Football League, Football managers' Association and the Professional Footballers' Association.
"We cannot go on like that because the problems will continue," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "The people who own and run football, they must do something about it. They are not doing enough – they are hardly doing anything."
The letter, published on the West Ham website and signed from owners David Gold and David Sullivan, ahead of Sunday's match with their London rivals said: "We would like to remind all fans attending the match at White Hart Lane that they will be acting as ambassadors for West Ham United and their behaviour should reflect the values and standards of our club.
Anti-Semitism in any form is wholly unacceptable and we support all efforts to kick it out of the game
"Working with the Metropolitan Police, the club will continue to adopt a zero tolerance policy towards any form of discriminatory behaviour and any fan found to be acting inappropriately - including racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic behaviour - will be punished to the full extent of the law and banned from attending matches.
"We are rightly proud of our world-famous support home and away and we look forward to the famous Claret and Blue Army once again getting behind the team with all their heart and showing the world that following the Hammers means supporting with pride, passion and respect."
British Transport Police issued a statement asking for information or footage on the incident, which occured at Stamford Hill in north London.
It read: “We take these incidents very seriously, and it is clear what happened on the Paris Metro and at St Pancras the following night were not isolated events.
“Anyone who has information or video that would help us our investigation should contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040, by text, on 61016, quoting reference 420 of 22/2/15.”
A Tottenham spokesman added: "Anti-Semitism in any form is wholly unacceptable and we support all efforts to kick it out of the game.
"We hope that those individuals responsible for this vile behaviour are identified and dealt with in the strongest way possible."
Last week, Chelsea fans were filmed on the Paris Metro appearing to push a black man off the train in an alleged racist incident.