by Tony Attwood
As you may have read in the media, some West Ham United supporters have been caught singing an antisemitic song towards a Jewish man on a plane being used by some fans to travel to Belgium.
The club has of course denounced its fans saying, “West Ham United is appalled by the contents of the video circulating on social media and condemn the behaviour of the individuals involved. The club is liaising with the airline and relevant authorities to identify the individuals.
“We continue to be unequivocal in our stance – we have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination. Any individuals identified will be issued with an indefinite ban from the club. Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the football club and we do not welcome any individuals who do not share those values.”
And that is pretty much what the media says although London News Time appears to have another twist by saying “West Ham has blamed footage of fans singing anti-Semitic songs to Jewish men on the plane.” I can’t quite see that the plane can be blamed, but you never know.
However what really amazes me is not that people still sing anti-Semitic songs – that is something that happens in our football culture. It could be stopped, just as it has been by and large stopped within the Arsenal stadium, at least as far as I can tell from where I sit, but somehow people still believe they can get away with it.
And I am not talking about the final line thrown in after the “We hate Tottenham” chant. That is appalling, and still there, but at least only a tiny minority of those who sing that song on the way to and from the ground, thrown in those last three words at the end.
But rather that a bunch of guys on a plane thought they could insult, in the worst possible manner, a Jewish guy on the plane, and get away with it. I mean apart from the behaviour being utterly awful, it is also utterly stupid. After all, on a plane, there’s nowhere to run, and everyone’s details are known by the airline.
By and large I don’t go around committing crimes, but if I did I guess I would have the sense to commit them in a manner that was not going to lead to me being caught. In this case the airline will have all the details of the passengers on the flight, that list can be handed over to the police who can then build up a picture of what happened, and then arrest those responsible.
Under the 1963 at Tokyo of the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, contracting states extend their criminal law and jurisdiction to aircraft of their registry when they are outside national territory. If the plane was registered in the UK then they guys have been done. If the airline was registered to a country that does not recognise the need for such laws, the UK should stop allowing that airline to fly in and out of the UK.
But apart from the law taking its course, I hope the airline authorities also tell West Ham, who can then confirm that these people have been banned from the ground for life – as well as refusing to sell them away tickets any more.
In short, what should also happen is that West Ham United should deal with the people involved and hopefully they will.
Of course we are not in Europe this year, having established the record for the most consecutive seasons in Europe apart from the eternally present Real Madrid. And I do continue to think we are getting a benefit from this. True, for the game against Watford that may not mean much, but when we play other clubs from the traditional top six we are playing a team whose players have spent hours on a plane and played an extra game, in the run up to the weekend game. I rather suspect the clubs with the most injuries are also the clubs playing in Europe. I’ll have to do the chart and found out if that’s true.
One Reply to “West Ham fans abuse Jewish man on plane travelling to European game.”
planes and injuries … your chart might be revealing indeed; which is why i find this MUtd-Southagte “opt out” agreement outrageous – and one with bellingham may follow up too!!
i hope arsenal will ground bukayo/emil ’til the other 20-somethings are picked again:
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