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Saturday 23 August 2014

Hammers supporter banned amid outrage over Nazi chants

Paul Kelso and Henry Winter

Published 27/11/2012 | 05:00

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A West Ham season ticket holder arrested and cautioned for giving a Nazi salute at White Hart Lane has been banned by the east London club.

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The supporter was one of two men arrested and cautioned for racially aggravated public order offences after giving the stiff-arm salute during an acrimonious 3-1 defeat to Tottenham marred by anti-semitic and abusive chanting by West Ham fans. There were five other arrests for unrelated incidents.

Police are considering launching a criminal inquiry after receiving complaints about the widespread abuse from away supporters.

West Ham's Israeli international Yossi Benayoun (right) spoke of his disappointment at hearing anti-semitic abuse by some fans towards Tottenham's supporters.

Benayoun said on Twitter: "I have a great relationship with the West Ham United supporters, from my first spell at the club and again now I am back on loan here. This why I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs – it was embarrassing."

Just four days after 10 Tottenham fans were injured, one of them seriously, when they were attacked in Rome before their Europa League tie with Lazio, the visiting fans taunted the home club about their association to the Jewish community, and the injuries inflicted in Italy.

They were heard to chant "Viva Lazio", "Can we stab you every week", and, " Adolf Hitler is coming for you".

The latter chant, audible to members of the media present and partially picked up by television microphones, was most offensive of all. The English FA said last night that it had formally opened an investigation into the incident, and called on both clubs to act firmly against any individuals.

While West Ham promised to act, the level of abuse from fans drew an angry reaction from Harry Redknapp, the new QPR manager, who labelled the fans "cowards".

"It's happening more and more, we all hear it,'' said Redknapp. It's disgusting. We've all had plenty of it at various times. They are just cowards who get in a group. I don't know what we can do with these people."

Tottenham will meet with Kick It Out today to discuss the issues raised by the events. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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