Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot.
West Ham fans chant anti-Semitic song at a Haredi man of a flight to Belgium, Nov. 4, 2021.

Two West Ham fans were arrested by police at London’s Stansted Airport over the weekend following a social media video showing them chanting an anti-Semitic song at a Haredi man making his way down an airplane aisle. The incident took place last Thursday, and the Premier League club West Ham fans were on their way to Belgium for their team match against the Belgian team KRC Genk in the Europa League.

The chanting was captured on video when the plane was still on the tarmac and the passengers were filing in and taking their seats. In the video, the fans are singing about their rivals Tottenham, known as the Jewish club (Tottenham Jewish Fans Continue ‘Yid’ Chants Despite Police Warning). The fans were singing about genitalia and circumcision while a Haredi Jewish man was walking down the aisle.


The Campaign Against anti-Semitism tweeted the video on Friday with a call to the carrier, Ryanair: “Will you be helping West Ham to identify their fans taunting a Jewish passenger: ‘I’ve got a foreskin haven’t you, [expletive] Jew?’ Did your crew take action and alert the police? These racist thugs must face the consequences of their actions.”

Essex Police arrested two men at the airport on suspicion of a racially or religiously aggravated public order offense. One suspect, 55, was picked up before 4 PM Friday after getting off a flight from Belgium: the other, 26, was captured around 4:30 PM Saturday, getting off a flight from the Netherlands. Both suspects were released on bail until their December 1 hearing.

West Ham issued a statement saying: “West Ham United is appalled by the contents of the video circulating on social media and condemns the behavior of the individuals involved. 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.”

An Essex police spokesperson said: “We immediately launched an investigation after being made aware of a video on social media of a man being subjected to harassment whilst taking his seat onboard an airplane before it departed from Stansted Airport on November 4.”

Chief Superintendent Tom Simons who leads the investigation told reporters: “Essex Police will not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind. Having been made aware of the incident, officers worked quickly to secure an arrest at the earliest possible opportunity.”

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