LONDON: Three Tottenham Hotspur fans have became the first to be charged with a criminal offence for using the word ‘Yid’.
The Crown Prosecution Service, according to UK Metroo, has ruled that the trio should go on trial accused of racially aggravated abusive behaviour, deeming the term to hold anti-semitic connotations.
They were arrested during home games at White Hart Lane last October and November and bailed ahead of yesterday’s announcement.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust said it was “saddened but not surprised”.
A statement added: “It remains our firm belief that, when used in a footballing context by Tottenham Hotspur supporters, there is no intent or desire to offend any member of the Jewish community.
‘We will continue to offer advice and support to any fan arrested by the Metropolitan Police for using the term in such circumstances.’
The CPS confirmed three men had been charged under section five of the Public Order Act.
Scotland Yard said 31-year-old Gary Whybrow, from west London, and Sam Parsons, 24, from Amersham in Buckinghamshire, were arrested when Spurs played Moldovan side FC Sheriff on November 7.
Peter Ditchman, 52, from Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, is charged with committing the offence when Tottenham hosted West Ham United on October 6, and is also accused of possessing cocaine at the game.
The issue of the Y-word was raised notably by comedian and Chelsea supporter David Baddiel last year. His own club’s fans have faced counter-allegations of taunting their Tottenham counterparts with hissing noises and Auschwitz chants.