Friday, 7 March 2014

Football: No charges for three fans over 'Yid' chants

Football: No charges for three fans over 'Yid' chants

Last Updated: Saturday, March 08, 2014, 00:35
Football: No charges for three fans over `Yid` chants
London: Charges have been dropped against three football fans who were facing prosecution for using the word "Yid" during Tottenham Hotspur matches, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Friday.

Gary Whybrow, 31, Sam Parsons, 24, and Peter Ditchman, 52, appeared before magistrates in London after allegedly using the language at Tottenham matches last autumn.

The CPS said, however, on Friday that the words could not legally be counted as "threatening, abusive or insulting" in the circumstances.

Baljit Ubhey from the CPS said: "It has now been concluded that, according to the Code for Crown Prosecutors, there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and that the cases against Peter Ditchman, Gary Whybrow and Sam Parsons should be discontinued."

He continued: "As part of the review, the context of the use of the words alleged in this case was reconsidered, and we have decided that, although the same words used in other contexts could in theory satisfy the criteria for `threatening, abusive or insulting`, it is unlikely that a court would find that they were in the context of the three particular cases in question.

"This decision has no bearing on any other cases that may be brought to our attention and all cases will be considered on their own facts and merits."

Yid is a term for a Jew which is often considered derogatory, but Spurs fans often chant the word as an act of defiance against those who taunt the north London side for it`s links with the local Jewish community.

Police had previously warned football fans not to use the word, which is used to refer to Tottenham fans and is regularly used in football chants.

But Prime Minister David Cameron had said he did not think Spurs fans should be charged for using the word, because it was not "motivated by hate".

Tottenham praised the decision not to proceed with the charges and revealed the three fans will now be allowed back into White Hart Lane.

"The Club welcomes the recognition of the importance of context," a statement read. "We have always maintained that our fans do not use the Y-word with any intent to offend.

"As with all cases where fans are arrested for football-related offences, we were obliged to issue bans and the Club can confirm that these supporters` bans have been rescinded with immediate effect and refunds will be made for matches missed on season tickets, as per Club policy.

"In light of the CPS`s decision we have asked the police for a clarification of the situation going forward and will update fans accordingly."

News that the charges were being dropped comes a day after the independent regulatory commission ruled that Nicolas Anelka could not be proven to have intentionally promoted anti-Semitism by performing a `quenelle` salute.

West Bromwich Albion striker Anelka, 34, was given a five-game suspension, as well as an £80,000 (97,00 euros, $133,000) fine after making the gesture during his side`s 3-3 draw at West Ham United in the Premier League in December.

The body that imposed the ban revealed the reasons for its decision in a 35-page report released on Thursday, in which it stated that the `quenelle` is "strongly associated with anti-Semitism".

However, the commission said that it was not satisfied that France`s Anelka intended to "express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle". --------------

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