Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

West Ham United vow to ban fans filmed engaging in racist chanting

Video on Saturday showed some supporters on a tram in Manchester involved in anti-Semitic chants

West Ham's Declan Rice in action against Manchester United's Anthony Martial during Saturday's Premier League clash. The day was marred for West Ham by footage of some supporters engaging in racist chants appearing on social media. Reuters 
West Ham's Declan Rice in action against Manchester United's Anthony Martial during Saturday's Premier League clash. The day was marred for West Ham by footage of some supporters engaging in racist chants appearing on social media. Reuters 

West Ham United have vowed to ban for life a group of supporters filmed engaging in anti-Semitic chanting prior to Saturday's Premier League match at Manchester United.

In the latest in a series of incidents of racist abuse this week, the fans were filmed singing an abusive song about rivals Tottenham Hotspur on a tram prior to the Hammers' match at Old Trafford.

Shortly after the footage appeared on social media, West Ham issued a statement which read: "We are disgusted by the contents of the video circulating on social media this evening.

"We are taking immediate action to try to identify the offenders, whose details we will be handing over to the police and will be banned for life from London Stadium and from travelling with the club.

"West Ham United is unequivocal in its stance - there is no place for this kind of behaviour at our club. We do not want people like this associated with West Ham United.

"They are not welcome at our club, they are not welcome in civilised society."

Equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out tweeted: "We received a report of a video of a group of West Ham fans chanting vile antisemitic abuse today. We welcome the swift and positive response of @WestHamUtd and support the club's determination to ban the perpetrators."

On Thursday night Chelsea denied three individuals entry to their Europa League match at Slavia Prague after they were identified as being involved in a social media video which included a racially abusive chant about Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

On the same night, Arsenal condemned racist abuse directed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly during their Europa League win at the Emirates Stadium, and also said they would issue its perpetrator a life ban.

The recent spate of incidents of racial abuse have prompted Fifa president Gianni Infantino to urge everyone in the game to adopt a zero tolerance approach - and give referees the power to abandon matches.

In a statement issued earlier on Saturday, Infantino said: "In recent days, it has been very sad to see a number of racist incidents in football. This is really not acceptable. Racism has no place in football, just as it has no place in society either.

"Fifa stands together with Prince Gouano, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose, as well as any other player, coach, fan or participant in a football match who has suffered from racism, whether at the highest professional level or in a school playground. Racism needs to end. Full stop.

"We introduced the so-called 'three-step procedure' at our tournaments: a mechanism that allows referees to go as far as to abandon a match in case of discriminatory incidents.

"Fifa urges all member associations, leagues, clubs and disciplinary bodies to adopt the same procedure, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of racism in football, and to apply harsh sanctions for any such kind of behaviour."

On Friday night, a match in Ligue 1 was stopped for several minutes after Amiens defender Prince Gouano suffered alleged racial abuse at Dijon.

A man was arrested after the incident, which led to 25-year-old Gouano asking for play to be stopped in the closing stages of the goalless draw.

Last month monkey chants were aimed at England players during a Euro 2020 qualifier away to Montenegro, after which Tottenham defender Danny Rose said he was looking forward to retiring from a game which has done too little to tackle the problem.

Meanwhile, England and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has rejected the proposal of walking off the pitch, insisting doing so would simply "let the racists win".

Updated: April 14, 2019 08:55 AM

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