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Sunday, March 24

Premier League

West Ham United

West Ham suspend coach after Kick It Out raises concern over ‘far right’ march

PA | 5mo
The Premier League club’s under-18s coach Mark Phillips attended a march by the controversial Democratic Football Lads Alliance in London on Saturday.

West Ham have suspended youth coach Mark Phillips after he took part in a march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), the Premier League club have confirmed.

Accused of Islamophobia and racism by its critics, the group marched through central London on Saturday to protest against what its Facebook page listed as “returning jihadists, veterans treated like traitors, thousands of AWOL migrants”, light sentences for paedophiles and an “epidemic of gang and knife crime”.

In a series of posts on his Twitter feed, which he has now protected, Phillips said he attended the march and then defended the group against claims it is “far right” and was to blame for violence with the police and anti-fascism protesters on Saturday.

These tweets were forwarded to football’s anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out on Monday and it passed them on to the Football Association, as Phillips is a “participant in the game”.

As Phillips does not appear to have broken any laws, the case was passed on to his club, which took the decision to suspend him on Tuesday.

In a statement, a Kick It Out spokesman said: “We can confirm we’ve received a report about a West Ham coach claiming to have attended the DFLA rally. We have passed it on to the club and are liaising with them about the issue.”

Earlier this year, the Premier League warned its clubs against the rising influence of the DFLA’s forerunner, the Football Lads Alliance, which it said was using the game to spread Islamophobia.

In a statement, a West Ham spokesperson said: “West Ham United is an inclusive football club. Regardless of gender, age, race, ability, religion or sexual orientation, every supporter within our diverse fanbase is warmly welcomed at London Stadium, free to enjoy watching their team play football without fear, discrimination or abuse.

“We have a zero tolerance policy to any form of violent or abusive behaviour. We continue to protect and cherish those values. And we remain committed to ensuring that every single member of the West Ham family feels safe, respected and included.”



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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