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Tottenham have been accused of "insulting people's intelligence" by attempting to justify the chanting of the word "Yid" by their supporters.

The head of the Society of Black Lawyers says he will complain formally to police if Spurs fail to take action within a fortnight to stop the chants.

In a statement, Spurs said their fans used the term as a "defence mechanism" against anti-Semitism from rivals.

But Peter Herbert said this "wouldn't make sense to a six-year-old".

Oldham footballer Dean Furman, who is Jewish, has also told BBC Sport there should be a "zero tolerance" approach and fans using the chant should be immediately thrown out of stadiums.

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You can't use it as a nickname or a chant because abusive chants will come back

Dean Furman

Oldham Athletic

However, Piara Powar, executive director of the Football Against Racism in Europe organisation, has criticised Herbert for being naive and questioned whether he properly understands football.

Some Tottenham fans have historically referred to themselves as the "Yid Army", in reference to the club's Jewish supporters.

The term is used in a chant by some fans at White Hart Lane and can often be seen on flags and banners at the ground.

But Herbert told BBC Sport: "Clearly Tottenham have a distance to travel before they learn of the offence that is being caused.

"If you had a group of Afro-Caribbean supporters using the 'N-word', even as a 'defence mechanism', it would clearly be completely unacceptable. There are young supporters present when the chants are used.

"Use of the word, even in this way, could be seen by some as justifying other people using the term."

He has warned the north London club that unless they take action by 20 November, he will report "a racist incident" to the Metropolitan Police.

Furman says there must be zero tolerance

Earlier on Wednesday, Spurs released a statement arguing that "real anti-Semitic abuse, such as hissing to simulate the noise of gas chambers, is the real evil and the real offence".

It continued: "Our fans adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. Our position on this topic is very clear. The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive chanting.

"Our guiding principle in respect of the 'Y-word' is based on the point of law itself - the distinguishing factor is the intent with which it is used, ie if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence. This has been the basis of prosecutions of fans of other teams to date.

"They do not use the term to others to cause any offence, they use it a chant amongst themselves.

Spurs defence is totally understandable....same as our sheepshag army.

More rubbish associated with football being used as a vehicle to carry political baggage.

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Slightly off topic and not all that important.

But have you heard some of the garbage that Kanye West guy comes out with. That there is a man who tries to create racial tension. Just a singer I know, but I wonder whether someone like Robbie Williams could release a song where he gives an opinion on African militias creating more poverty among their own people and that these 'ghettos' are a product of their own society.... I wonder if he could say that as freely as Kanye West gives his opinion?

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