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Don't let us down

Filed: Friday, 4th October 2013
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United have issued a statement urging supporters to be on their best behaviour at White Hart Lane this weekend.

In last season's corresponding fixture, a small group of West Ham followers spoiled the day by engaging in anti-Semitic chanting. Unsurprisingly, this was blown out of all proportion by the press, many of whom accused West Ham's entire travelling support of taking part.

And just as they did last season, David Sullivan and David Gold have urged travelling fans not to let the Club down by engaging in such vile chants. In a letter sent to all who have purchased tickets for Sunday's game, they said: "A London derby is always a passionate affair and, as ever, we know the players will be backed by a loud and proud travelling support.

"However, the Club seeks to remind all fans attending the match at White Hart Lane that they will be acting as ambassadors for West Ham United and their behaviour should reflect the values and standards of our Club.

"The corresponding fixture last season was followed by media reports of inappropriate chanting and gesturing by a small minority of individuals in the away end. Any such behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by West Ham United.

"The Club, along with the Metropolitan Police, will continue to adopt a zero tolerance policy towards any form of discriminatory behaviour this year and any fan found to be acting inappropriately - including racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic behaviour - will be punished to the full extent of the law and banned from attending matches.

"West Ham United is rightly proud of its world-famous support home and away and will not allow the reputation of the tens of thousands of Hammers fans who follow the Club over land and sea to be tarnished by any unacceptable conduct from a small minority."

Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce - speaking to the press this morning - added: "Support your team, support what happens on the field and try to get behind your team - it's as simple as that.

"You're aware of what's acceptable and what's not so you've got to be very, very careful about what you choose to chant. If you're made aware of it and it [still] happens, you don't have any excuse."

The Met Police also issued a rather ambiguous warning last night, stating that anyone heard uttering the word "yid" at White Hart Lane on Sunday - be they West Ham or Tottenham supporters - might be arrested.

"This topic has been debated at length but our position is clear, racism and offensive language have no place in football or indeed in society," said Chief Superintendent Mick Johnson.

"Those supporters who engage in such behaviour should be under no illusion that they may be committing an offence and may be liable to a warning or be arrested."

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