Tottenham Hotspur Fans Suffer Apparent Anti-Semitic Attack in Lyon

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterFebruary 21, 2013

Photo: Action Images
Photo: Action Images

Three Tottenham Hotspur fans sustained injuries Wednesday night when a group of 50 masked attackers struck a Lyon pub. The attackers reportedly made Nazi gestures and chanted anti-Semitic slogans.

The Guardian cites police reports that say the attack was "anti-Semitic" in nature and "well-coordinated." The incident occurred at Lyon's English-style Smoking Dog pub while Tottenham fans watched a UEFA Champions League match.

According to club officials, the injuries were not serious. Police have reportedly made arrests stemming from the incident.

The Independent supplies more details from the attack:

Witnesses said the group of attackers smashed doors and threw cast-iron chairs, wooden objects, and a flare into the pub, which is popular among ex-pats in the French city. Others claimed the assailants made Nazi salutes…Eyewitnesses say the latest attack occurred in the bar at 10.18pm on Wednesday night and that the attackers then returned shortly after to launch another assault on the pub, which was damaged extensively as a result.

This is the second time this season that Tottenham fans have been targeted by an apparent anti-Semitic attack. In November, one supporter was stabbed in a similar incident in Rome, ahead of Spurs' Europa League match against Lazio (via The Guardian).

As the Daily Telegraph reports, Tottenham Hotspur have a "traditionally strong Jewish following."

Though the attack happened the night before Tottenham's Europa League match against Lyon, it most likely was unrelated to football. Reports indicate that no Spurs supporters were causing problems in Lyon.

Spurs supporter James Taylor told The Guardian: "It was premeditated, prearranged. It was nothing to do with Spurs fans. We were in the pub having a few drinks at about 10 o'clock at night. There were about 150 Spurs fans singing. It was all in good nature."

The UEFA Europa League second-round, second-leg match between Lyon and Tottenham remains scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Thursday. Spurs won the first leg 2-1 in London on Feb. 14.