The mysterious world of English football fandom

Martin Bright at reports:

A leading Muslim politician campaigning against antisemitic chanting at Chelsea Football Club has been told that fans who shout “We hate Yids!” about Tottenham fans are not expressing hatred of Jews.

Chelsea has rejected the proposal of the Labour London Assembly member, Murad Qureshi, that the club should introduce an anti-racism programme for fans and stewards to show it is taking the problem seriously.

Edward Ashwell, Chelsea’s head of security, replied: “The problem of antisemitic chanting at Stamford Bridge is not as clear cut as it might be. Tottenham Hotspur supporters call themselves ‘the Yids’ and when some Chelsea supporters chant ‘We hate Yids’ they do not mean ‘We hate Jewish people’, they actually mean ‘We hate Tottenham supporters’ much in the same way as they chant ‘We hate Leeds’ .”

Okay. I sort of get that. But still…

Anyway it’s good that Mr. Qureshi was sensitive enough to speak up about it. A reminder, perhaps, of some things British Jews and Muslims have in common.

(Hat tip: Jeffrey Goldberg)