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British soccer fans charged for using term ‘Yid’

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(JTA) — Three fans of the British Tottenham Hotspurs soccer club were charged for using the term “Yid” at a match.

The men were charged on Tuesday for causing ‘‘harassment, alarm or distress’’ by using a ‘‘threatening, abusive or insulting’’ word.

Two of the fans were arrested in November and one in October, according to reports. One also is accused of possessing cocaine.

Tottenham has many Jewish supporters, who sometimes call themselves the “Yid army.” However, the term often is used derogatorily by opposing fans.

The English Football Association announced in September that fans could face criminal charges for using Yid, calling the term “inappropriate in a football setting.”

The statement also said that “use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offense, and leave those fans liable to prosecution and potentially a lengthy football banning order.”

However, fans have continued to use the term, saying it is not used derogatorily by team supporters. The chants include “Yids,” “Yid army” and “Yiddos.”

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