Allardyce backs lifetime bans for anti-Semitic chanting

The West Ham boss has criticised the alleged chanting heard from sections of the support against Tottenham, calling for strict punishment to be dealt to those found guilty

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has condemned the alleged anti-Semitic chanting directed at Tottenham fans by sections of his club’s support, and backed the introduction of lifetime bans for any guilty party.

The behaviour - which reportedly referenced Spurs' Jewish heritage and mocked the recent attack on Spurs fans in Rome - has since been heavily criticised in an official statement from the east London club, while Israeli squad member Yossi Benayoun has expressed his "embarrassment" and "disappointment" on Twitter.

When asked whether such behaviour should warrant a lifetime ban from Upton Park, the veteran manager told reporters, "Yes. It's a small minority but at the end of the day a small minority can make themselves heard at football matches if they really want to and we must deal with it.

"The good thing is with security cameras and CCTV cameras, it's difficult for them to get away with it. Hopefully we can pick out those people and punish them in the right way.

"It's very, very disappointing to hear what has been said and done by a small minority of fans. No one condones that sort of behaviour.

"I don't wish to hear any of that sort of chanting in the game of football anywhere in this country. We have to continue to do all we possibly can for it not to happen.

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"If we punish the people who have done it in the right way I think we will cut it out and stop it."

In the immediate aftermath of the game, Allardyce came under criticism from some for refusing to denounce the songs reportedly emanating from White Hart Lane's away section for the reason that he had not heard them.

"I was doing a press conference after the game and had no idea what had happened and what had been said or done," he clarified.

"I wasn't prepared and didn't want to comment having not heard what went on. I don't know how I was supposed to react to something I didn't know anything about.

"You are in a very difficult position. We had just been beaten 3-1 by Tottenham. I wasn't in the best mood. I am not expecting the question.

"I am expecting to talk about football and I am a football manager. I didn't want to comment on it. Now, like everyone else - I don't condone it."