BotN: Couple lose adoptive children Ã¢ÂÂfor being West Ham fansÃ¢ÂÂ
More controversy in East London. Back of the Net's John Foster reports...
Outrage has greeted reports that a couple in East London have had their three adoptive children taken from them by the local council on the grounds that their support for West Ham United meant that they were Ã¢ÂÂnot fit to be foster parents.Ã¢ÂÂ
Newham Council say they were forced to act after receiving a tip-off from a member of the public who allegedly overheard the couple singing Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm Forever Blowing BubblesÃ¢ÂÂ in front of the children.
In a statement, a council spokesman said that the children, who are thought to be from a Levski Sofia-supporting background, were removed from the parentsÃ¢ÂÂ care due to concerns about the Ã¢ÂÂoutdated mindsetÃ¢ÂÂ associated with West Ham.
Ã¢ÂÂEnglish society and English football have made great strides since the 1980s,Ã¢ÂÂ the spokesman said, Ã¢ÂÂbut if we gave our approval to people associated with West Ham knowing full well what goes on at Upton Park, then we would be failing in our duty of care to these vulnerable children.Ã¢ÂÂ
But the decision has been met with an outcry, with various figures condemning the councilÃ¢ÂÂs position.
Some other West Ham fans, ages ago
Ã¢ÂÂThey made us feel like criminals,Ã¢ÂÂ said the foster carer, who does not want to be named. Ã¢ÂÂBeing a West Ham supporter doesnÃ¢ÂÂt make you a bigot. We were planning to raise the kids in their own traditions too. WeÃ¢ÂÂd bought them Carlton Cole shirts, but they also had posters of Georgi Asparuhov and the rest of the great 1964/65 Levski side. We were even teaching them all the Levski club songs. Not the racist ones,Ã¢ÂÂ she quickly added.
But figures inside Newham Council have told FourFourTwo that the decision has nothing to do with the antisemitic chanting by a minority of West Ham fans against Tottenham last weekend.
Ã¢ÂÂNobody thinks that being a West Ham fan means youÃ¢ÂÂre a racist,Ã¢ÂÂ said a senior council member. Ã¢ÂÂBut the type of football you see at Upton Park Ã¢ÂÂ IÃ¢ÂÂm talking high balls to Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan kicking anything that moves, James Ã¢ÂÂElbowsÃ¢ÂÂ Collins Ã¢ÂÂ surely any right-thinking person can see that raising a child in this sort of environment is damaging to their development as football fans, and as human beings.Ã¢ÂÂ
It was suggested yesterday that Newham follow the example of Staffordshire County Council, which has arranged for a great number of large, aggressive children to be fostered from a young age by Stoke City, at a purpose-built, heavily-guarded area known as The Compound.
Editor's note: this is satire and not a serious accusation - all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.
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