British soccer fan arrested, says Nazi salute was a 'wave hello'

Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
Asher, a former fireman, told police who questioned him about the picture that he was merely waving to a friend during the match in Newcastle between Newcastle F.C. and the Tottenham Hotspurs from London

But police recommended prosecuting him all the same, and prosecutors presented evidence that forced him to admit this week in court to committing a racially aggravated offense that caused harassment.

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He received a fine of nearly $400, Sky News on Wednesday reported, and police intend to ban him for a lengthy period from entering the main stadium of Newcastle in northern England. Pending that procedure, he is barred from entering any sporting event in Wales and England.

The punishment, which is unusually severe, demonstrates how British authorities and soccer officials are stepping up their enforcement against behaviors that used to be commonplace and went almost always unpunished merely a decade ago.

Tottenham is one of a few soccer teams in Europe considered by many of its fans and fans of rival teams to be "Jewish," because of its historical fanbase. This phenomenon has led to the use of antisemitic language and trivialization of the Holocaust at games.

Asher, who lives in the Newcastle suburb of Gateshead — home to a large population of Orthodox Jews — reported to a...

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