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English FA looks into apparent anti-Semitic chants

Rob Harris, AP Sports Writer

Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe, top left, celebrates with teammates after scoring against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match, at White Hart Lane, London, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Bogdan Maran)

LONDON (AP) -- The English Football Association is investigating apparent anti-Semitic chants by West Ham fans during a Premier League match at Tottenham, while the club pledged to impose life bans on any supporters found guilty.

On Sunday at White Hart Lane, West Ham fans were heard hissing to imitate the gas chambers used during the Holocaust. Tottenham is known to have a large Jewish fan base.

Four days after a Tottenham fan was stabbed before a game at Lazio in the Europa League, some West Ham supporters also were heard chanting "Can we stab you every week?" and singing "Viva Lazio."

As the FA decides whether to charge West Ham over the conduct of its fans, the governing body says it is gathering information from Tottenham and West Ham and talking the police to see if they plan to take any action.

West Ham said it is assisting Tottenham with their investigation "into the conduct of a small number of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting."

"West Ham United will take the strongest possible action against any of their supporters, including enforcing life bans from the club, that are found guilty of behavior which is categorically not condoned by West Ham United," the team said in a statement.

"During the 46 games in the Championship last season, West Ham United had zero arrests for racism or violence, so while we are surprised to see such reports today, we will examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the appropriate action."

Tottenham beat West Ham 3-1.