Spurs fans hurt in 'anti-Semitic' attack on pub in Lyon, France

Feb 21, 2013

Thugs making Nazi salutes set upon Tottenham supporters ahead of tonight's Europa League game

A GROUP of Spurs fans, following their team in Europe, have been injured in what is thought to be another anti-Semitic attack by far-right hooligans.

Three supporters were reportedly taken to hospital by ambulance after the assault on a pub in Lyon, where 150 Tottenham fans were drinking on the eve of tonight's Europa League game against the French city's side.

According to eye-witnesses, a group of 50 masked thugs, some making Nazi salutes, threw missiles, including a flare and an iron chair, at the Smoking Dog pub, which is popular with ex-pats.

After a first assault in which the windows of the bar were smashed, the gang returned and launched another attack, badly damaging the pub.

Eyewitnesses said many of the masked attackers were making right-wing gestures. "There were 50 who attacked in the first wave and 25 in the second," said one fan. "It's a pretty scary thing when you're confronted by people doing Nazi salutes."

The Independent reports that French police believe the "well-coordinated" attack was "of an anti-Semitic nature". It adds that the ambush is thought to have been carried out by a far-right political group rather than supporters of Lyon.

Spurs has close ties to the Jewish community, and earlier this season its fans came under attack in Rome. That incident was said to be the work of hooligans from several Italian clubs "united by racism and anti-Semitism".

The Guardian says that the owner of the pub, Briton Dave Eales, had travelled with French fans to watch the first leg of the tie between Spurs and Lyon in London. He met English supporters at the game and invited them to his bar before the away leg.

Eales said he had warned the police about the potential for trouble. Earlier this season there were calls from some supporters for Spurs fans to stop referring to themselves as 'yids'.

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