West Ham United Stadium

West Ham United FC will ban for life any fans it identifies chanting an anti-Semitic song about rivals Tottenham Hotspur before their match against Manchester United on Saturday.

Footage was posted on Twitter.

The club, which has many Jewish followers, quickly commented on the sickening hate crime and came down hard on perpetrators.

“We are disgusted by the contents of the video,” noted a club spokesperson.

“These people are not welcome at our club, they are not welcome in civilised society. 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.”

Greater Manchester Police praised the club for its firm stance and appealed for witnesses.

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Boyce commented, “Here in Manchester we pride ourselves on making sure fans from far and wide are welcomed and it is disappointing that a small few have brought shame on football in this way.

“Let me be really clear, racial abuse will not be tolerated and anyone that partakes in this kind of behaviour can be expected to be investigated by the police.”

“We welcome West Ham United’s statement which quite rightly condemns these disgusting and abhorrent slurs and we will endeavour to work closely with them to identify those in the video.

“I would also ask anyone with any footage of the incident or information they think can help us to please contact us immediately.”

Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman also praised West Ham for its swift reaction.

“Yesterday it was anti-Jewish hatred, but a small number of supporters seem to think it’s OK to chant and sing disgusting racist slurs,” she said. “It is not OK. More must be done to create a real culture change to stop this.”

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

Hammers supporters have been involved in anti-Semitic incidents previously.

Mark Harding was convicted for telling a Jewish fan to “stick your head in the oven like the Jew you are” in 2017. And a year earlier, Richard Prendiville and a man identified only as R. Peacock were convicted over similar anti-Semitic chanting on public transport.

Witnesses should contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 856 4409 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Campaign Against Antisemitism will speak in confidence also to anyone with information at investigations@antisemitism.uk who contacts them.

By Adam Moses