Jewish comic David Baddiel, a Chelsea supporter, promoted a campaign urging fans not to use the word 'Yid'. Photograph: Murdo Macleod
The Football Association has warned that any fan chanting the word "Yid" could face criminal charges.
The issue of whether the chanting of "Yid" or "Yiddo" is offensive or not has been the source of debate for many years at Tottenham. For decades some opposition fans have used the club's links with the Jewish community as an excuse for launching anti-semitic abuse towards Spurs supporters.
The most shocking instance came last season when West Ham fans visited White Hart Lane. A section of the away support hissed, mimicking the gassing of the Jews in the Holocaust, and they also sang songs praising the former Lazio player Paolo Di Canio, who once declared his admiration for Benito Mussolini.
In response to the derogatory chanting aimed their way, Tottenham fans branded themselves the "Yid Army" and often describe themselves as "Yids" in order to mock those who use the term against them. But the FAdoes not see that as a justification for the use of the word, from either home or away fans at White Hart Lane. In a statement the FA said the word "Yid" was "derogatory and offensive" and therefore urged any fan to refrain from using it on the terraces.
"The FA considers that the use of the term 'Yid' is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer and considers the term to be inappropriate in a football setting. The FA would encourage fans to avoid using it in any situation. Use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offence, and leave those fans liable to prosecution and potentially a lengthy Football Banning Order."
Spurs believe their fans do not intend to cause any offence by chanting the word "Yid", but after Tottenham fans were subjected to shocking anti-semitic attacks in Rome and Lyon last season, the club embarked on discussions with their fans over whether the chants were counter-productive or not. They will continue to canvass supporters' opinion this season.
A Tottenham statement read: "We are acutely aware of the sensitivity of this issue. Our fans historically adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-semitic abuse. They do not use the term with any deliberate intent to cause offence.
"Last season saw a number of incidents where fans were targeted by allegedly far-right activists on the Continent and subjected to anti-semitic abuse by opposition fans. Subsequently, the debate on this issue has two key considerations.
"Firstly, whether or not its use now plays a role in deflecting or attracting unjustified abuse, abuse that is inexcusable on any grounds; and secondly, whether it is liable to cause offence to others even if unintentionally. Our fans have themselves engaged in this debate following the events of last season.
"Yid" is not really an insulting word. Jews call each other "Yid" all the time. It's like Black people calling each other the N-word.
However if you are not a Yid don't go calling others people Yids whether they are Yidden or nit-Yidden.
Tottenham fans can call themselves the Goys if they want.