Arsenal issues official club statement in the wake of anti-Semitic rhetoric during the North London Derby

Racist, ethnocentric, and anti-Semitic rhetoric remains a serious problem across the football landscape in Europe as governing bodies and clubs remain unwilling or unable to sufficiently crack down on those that perpetuate the vicious cycle of hate and division

Premier League mid-season champion-elect Arsenal continued their march to unexpected heights during the 2022-23 season after Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners earned a consummate 2-0 win over bitter capital rivals Tottenham Hotspur to jump to an eight-point lead at the top of the table over chasing Manchester City.

But the weekend result has been marred after reports of multiple instances of anti-Semitic rhetoric in the form of chants being flung from some in the Arsenal fanbase towards Spurs supporters at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as well as by fans inside The Cally pub in Islington.

In a commendable action to show solidarity with their rivals and the entire football community, regardless of race or creed, Arsenal issued an official statement via the club’s website to condemn the actions over the weekend while urging supporters on speaking out against such vile acts, regardless of the fans that perpetuate them.

“We have been made aware of two disturbing incidents over the weekend involving anti-semitism which are now under investigation.”

“There was an incident at the North London derby on Sunday involving Arsenal supporters in which one of our fans overheard grossly offensive anti-semitic statements made by another Arsenal fan. On the same afternoon, we were appalled to hear of an incident at The Cally pub in Islington, involving other anti-semitic chants.”

“We recognise the impact this behaviour has on our many Jewish supporters and others and condemn the use of language of this nature, which has no place in our game or society.”

“Arsenal must be a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, and we want to be clear that any kind of discriminatory abuse is not welcome at our club. We will not stand for this kind of behaviour and will take strong action against any supporters who we establish are responsible for such acts. Anyone identified will receive a lengthy club ban and their details will be passed to the police to commence legal proceedings.”

“If any of our supporters witness any form of discriminatory behaviour, we urge them to report the incident to the police. If inside our stadium, report to a matchday steward or use our ‘See Something, Say Something’ service by texting “FOUL” to 67777 together with a description of the incident and the location within the stadium. This enables supporters to report an incident safely and for us to act as quickly as possible.”

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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