Stephen urges West Ham to ban Democratic Football Lads Alliance

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Stephen has joined east London politicians urging West Ham United’s board to ban activists accused of fuelling racism in football.

In a letter to the West Ham, the group - which included fellow MPs Lyn Brown, Jon Cruddas, Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick - called on the club to reject the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA). The letter was also signed by Newham Mayor, Roksana Fiaz and London Assembly member, Unmesh Desai,

The letter stated: “We ask that West Ham United FC issue a clear unequivocal statement that the DFLA form no part of the West Ham family; they are not welcome at West Ham and never will be.” The group added that following the terror attacks in New Zealand – when 50 worshippers were killed in mosques – everyone had to play a part in making sure Islamophobia, racism, antisemitism and hate crime have no place in communities or football.

The politicians also warned that far right activists are targeting matches to recruit supporters under the banner of the DFLA which they accused of fuelling anti-Muslim hatred and organising violent demonstrations.

Speaking about the letter, Stephen said: “West Ham are a huge part of our community. I hope they will work with me and the signatories of this letter challenge groups like the DFLA whose rhetoric is deeply troubling.”

A West Ham United spokesman said: “It is well known that the club is unequivocal in its stance against all forms of racism and discrimination. Islamophobia, racism, antisemitism and hate crime have no place in our communities and no place in football.”