'Yid Army' Chant: Spurs Fans Warned Of Charges

'Yid Army' Chant: Spurs Fans Warned Of Charges

The Football Association has warned fans who use the word "Yid" they will face criminal charges - even if they follow Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs fans proudly chant "Yid Army" in response to the perception they have a large Jewish following.

But the FA has this week published new guidelines over the use of the word and warned fans they face prosecution.

The statement says that although it acknowledges Spurs fans may use the term as a "badge of honour", any use "is likely to be considered offensive".

The governing body adds: "By using the term in this manner, fans may be clouding the issue by making it harder to differentiate its use by these fans and by those who use the term in an intentionally offensive manner.

"Further, use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offence, and leave those fans liable to prosecution and potentially a lengthy football banning order."

Spurs reacted by announcing they were launching a wide-scale consultation on how to deal with the matter.

"We are acutely aware of the sensitivity of this issue," Spurs said in a statement.

"Our fans historically 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 with any deliberate intent to cause offence."

Tottenham fans, visiting stadiums abroad, have been the subject of a series of racist attacks recently.

In November, two Roma fans were banned from all sporting events for five years after a Spurs fan was stabbed in the thigh.

And in February three men believed to be from a far-right group were arrested after an attack on Spurs fans in a bar in Lyon.

In addition, two West Ham fans were arrested and accepted a police caution for anti-Semitic gestures during their team's 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane in November.

One of them was given a lifetime banning order by the east London club.

In April 2011, comedian, writer and Jewish Chelsea fan David Baddiel wrote a one-minute film entitled "Y-word".

The film was part of the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign featuring then Tottenham captain Ledley King, former Spurs striker Gary Lineker, Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs.