In Depth

After Anelka comes Spurs 'yid' row: is anti-Semitism growing?

Spurs fans charged with using the word 'yid' as West Brom striker faces long ban over goal celebration

A DAY after Nicolas Anelka was charged by the FA over his 'quenelle' goal celebration, said to have anti-Semitic connotations, it has emerged that three Spurs fans have been charged by police for using the word 'yid'.

The three men will appear before magistrates next month charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words. The offences are said to have been "racially aggravated".

Two of the alleged incidents took place during Spurs' Europa League match against FC Sheriff Tiraspol in November, while the third is said to have occurred during the match against West Ham in October, reports The Guardian.

The news comes after police warnings to supporters last year that they risked arrest for using the word and the FA said such "unacceptable language" could lead to banning orders.

The zero-tolerance policy has proved controversial and sparked a debate over the use of the word among Spurs fans. Comedian David Baddiel has campaigned to stop people using the "y-word", while the club and its fans have defended the right of supporters to use it. Prime Minister David Cameron even weighed in and appeared to give his backing to the fans.

After news of the arrest the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust said it was "saddened, but certainly not surprised" and 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."

News of Anelka's charge and the action against Spurs fans has made headlines overseas. Sports Illustrated says the developments are part of a "a rash of similar incidents from the soccer world in which players and fans alike have been accused of making derogatory statements or actions that some believe to be anti-Semitic". It points to another incident in Croatia last year when fans allegedly sang pro-Nazi chants.

Meanwhile, Anelka faces a long ban for his goal celebration, but the French striker struck back today when he posted a video on his Twitter account featuring a prominent French Jew defending his use of the gesture.

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