Charges Dropped Against British Fans Who Shouted 'Yid'

Charges dropped against three soccer fans who were facing prosecution for using the word "Yid" during soccer matches.

Contact Editor
Elad Benari, Canada,

Illustration: soccer
Illustration: soccer
Flash 90

Charges have been dropped against three soccer fans who were facing prosecution for using the word "Yid" during Tottenham Hotspur matches, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Friday, according to AFP.

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.

In January, the three were charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words.

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

"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," said Baljit Ubhey from the CPS, according to AFP.

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.

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

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

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."

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 $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".

The “quenelle” was popularized by anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who is a friend of Anelka’s. It has been described as “nothing more than a Nazi salute in disguise.”

Anelka has vigorously denied that the gesture is racist or anti-Semitic. Dieudonne has backed him, arguing that the gesture is “the gesture of emancipation.”

Earlier this week, UEFA banned Belgian player Omar Rahou for 10 matches for performing a “quenelle”.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)