Club spoke of flag with ‘political’ background – Backlash was so strong that 64 minutes later the ban was lifted
London, Thanasis Gavos
Strong reactions from Cypriots and other Tottenham fans in Britain were caused by the decision by the club to prohibit the placing of the Cypriot flag by fans in the stands of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The decision, which was communicated to the British Cypriot owners of the flag, caused a sensation, as this particular flag has been a point of reference at Spurs’ home, but also at the team’s away matches, for almost two decades.
As the three relatives who own the flag announced on January 20, the club notified them of the ban decision, citing a flag with a “political” background, which is prohibited by regulations.
The three Cypriot Tottenham fans rejected the club’s argument as “nonsense”, stressing that “the Cypriot flag is 100% not a political flag”.
The flag of Cyprus even has its own account on Twitter and Instagram, which the administrators used to publicize the problem that arose.
Reaction from the club’s remaining fans on both social media and online forums was so intense that 64 minutes after the announcement from the ‘Spurs Cyprus Flag’ accounts, the club informed the three Cypriots that the ban was being lifted.
Tottenham U-turn on decision to ban long-standing flag just 64 minutes after fans vented their anger #THFC https://t.co/jztmND8VbP
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 20, 2023
In the same forums, the assessment expressed by many fans for the reason for Tottenham’s initial decision is that from this year the team has a well-known Turkish food and meal delivery company as a new sponsor.
Tottenham’s communications officer when asked by SKAI referred to the club’s policy on flags on the pitch. This policy states: “The Association has always considered that a football game is a moment to primarily show loyalty to a football team. A football match is not an appropriate venue for displaying flags of any political or religious affiliation or anything that could possibly be considered inflammatory – this may include national flags during times of political conflict, campaigning or issues.”
A Spurs spokesman added: “We recognize that this policy is open to interpretation and will therefore allow the flag to be flown in the stadium while we reassess the policy.”
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With a wealth of experience honed over 4+ years in journalism, I bring a seasoned voice to the world of news. Currently, I work as a freelance writer and editor, always seeking new opportunities to tell compelling stories in the field of world news.