UK soccer coach blasts anti-Semitic display in Belgrade
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UK soccer coach blasts anti-Semitic display in Belgrade

Serbian fans hang massive ‘Only Jews and Pussies’ banner during Europa league match

Illustrative: Fans hold up an anti-Semitic banner during a Europa League soccer match in Belgrade between UK club Tottenham and Belgrade's Partizan, Thursday September 18, 2014. (screen capture: YouTube/Danger News, illustrative)
Illustrative: Fans hold up an anti-Semitic banner during a Europa League soccer match in Belgrade between UK club Tottenham and Belgrade's Partizan, Thursday September 18, 2014. (screen capture: YouTube/Danger News, illustrative)

PARIS — Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino blasted an anti-Semitic banner unfurled by Partizan Belgrade fans as “unacceptable” and “disrespectful” after European football was again embroiled in a racism row.

A huge banner bearing the words “Only Jews and Pussies” was displayed throughout Thursday’s Europa League match between the two teams in the Serbian capital.

“I didn’t see but the club is aware. And if it is true, that is very disrespectful,” Pochettino told the British media after the game which ended in a 0-0 draw.

North London club Tottenham have long enjoyed close links with the Jewish community.

Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino looks on during the English Premier League football match between Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on September 13, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. (photo credit:AFP/Lindsey Parnaby)
Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino looks on during the English Premier League football match between Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on September 13, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. (photo credit:AFP/Lindsey Parnaby)

“It is a shame as it was a great atmosphere. It is very disrespectful, unacceptable and a massive problem for us,” Pochettino said.

Partizan were kicked out of the UEFA Cup in 2007 for hooligan-related problems and the club is certain to face more sanctions following Thursday’s incident.

On the pitch, Tottenham, in their fourth Europa League campaign, made no fewer than 10 changes from the side that drew with Sunderland in the Premier League at the weekend, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris the only survivor.

Harry Kane almost gave the north Londoners a dream start to their bid to get out of Group C, his first minute attempt hitting the bar.

But despite looking dangerous on occasions Tottenham lacked the killer touch and were unable to find a way through Partizan’s defense.

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