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Football | Barclays Premier League

AVB tight-lipped over 'stabbing' chants



Tottenham Hotspur coach Andre Villas-Boas refused to be drawn into a discussion about alleged abusive chanting from West Ham United fans during Spurs' 3-1 victory on Sunday.

Visiting supporters directed offensive chants at home fans during the match at White Hart Lane, making references to the attack on Spurs fans prior to their Europa League game against Lazio in Rome on Thursday that saw one man stabbed.

The Hammers fans chanted "Viva Lazio" and "Can we stab you every week?", as well as singing the name of former West Ham striker and Lazio icon Paolo Di Canio.

West Ham supporters were also reported to have hissed, mimicking the noise of the gas chambers used to murder Jews in the Holocaust, in a reference to Tottenham's strong links with the Jewish community.

However, neither Villas-Boas nor his opposite number, Sam Allardyce, were preapred to comment in detail about the chants, but both said it was because they had not heard them.

"I prefer not to mar the performance with a situation like this," Villas-Boas said in his post-match press conference.

"You know the animosity there is between Tottenham and West Ham and as long as it doesn't reach stupidity, it is a great, great rivalry of two London clubs.

"It would be extremely unfair for me to mar the performance of the players, but understanding that a couple of situations are avoidable, we can't decipher the true meaning of what they were saying."

Allardyce said: "I didn't hear it. I don't hear what the fans say or do when I'm concentrating as a manager on a game of football.

"They shouldn't be doing things like that. It is the least of my worries at the minute, isn't it? What do you want me to say? If I didn't hear it, I can't condemn it, can I?

"I will wait and look at it myself and make a comment once I have listened to what they have said.

"I don't want to be a political animal – I'm here to talk about football and not what fans are saying and singing."

Tottenham won the match through a Jermain Defoe brace and a goal from Gareth Bale, with Andy Carroll replying for the visitors.

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