Sunday 18 February 2018

Spurs back fans in legal threat over chants

Jonathan Liew

Tottenham have launched a vigorous defence of their own fans after being threatened with prosecution over the use of the word 'yid' at White Hart Lane.

The club were responding to claims by the Society of Black Lawyers that the term, often used by Spurs fans to describe themselves, is a form of anti-Semitic abuse.

The chairman of the society, Peter Herbert, said that unless the club took action against their fans, many of whom are Jewish, they would be reported to the Metropolitan Police.

But the club said in a statement: "Our guiding principle in respect of the 'Y-word' is based on the point of law itself -- the distinguishing factor is the intent with which it is used.

"Our fans adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any offence, they use it (as) a chant amongst themselves."

Meanwhile, before the club's must-win Europa League game against Maribor tonight, Tom Huddlestone described the team's style under manager Andre Villas-Boas as "rigid", in contrast to his predecessor Harry Redknapp.

Huddlestone said: "He's come in and been very organised. The lads know what session we're going to do before we go out to train.

"A lot of it is on rigid team shape, whereas under previous regimes the initiative has been given to the players to express themselves. Under this manager, it's more his ideas, and we stick to them. We're probably harder to beat, maybe not as open."

Huddlestone said he had no complaints with his new, more disciplined central midfield role. "You have to be adaptable," he said.

Tottenham have decided against giving Moussa Dembele surgery to cure a hip problem. The midfielder will instead undergo a course of rest and therapy that will see him return within a fortnight, after being advised that there was no certainty that an operation would cure the injury. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Tottenham v NK Maribor,

Live, ITV4, 8.05

Irish Independent

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