By 90Min
December 07, 2018

Anti-discrimination campaigners have called on West Ham United to take action after a supporters' group official became the latest figure to be linked with the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA).

Gregg Smith, a member of the newly formed official supporters’ board, expressed his support for the DFLA and confirmed that he had attended a DFLA march in London.

“I did attend the march in October," he told the Guardian. "I’m opposed to acts of terrorism as a political means of effecting change and marched on that basis.”

This comes just weeks after it emerged that Mark Phillips, a West Ham under 18s coach, attended the DFLA march as well. Phillips was initially suspended by the club but was allowed to return last month with no further punishment.

The DFLA is a self-proclaimed 'anti-extremist' group consisting mostly of middle-aged, white, male football fans, which was set up as the Football Lads Alliance in the wake of the 2017 Westminster Bridge attacks.

Accused of spreading violent, racist and misogynistic ideas, the DFLA has links to far-right politics, activists and groups, and the Premier League has warned clubs that "the group is using fans and stadiums to push an anti-Muslim agenda."

October's march descended into violence when the DFLA clashed with anti-racism protesters who blocked their path, although there is no suggestion that Smith was involved in these disturbances.

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A spokesman for anti-racism group Hope Not Hate said: "It’s disappointing. We hope the board at West Ham treat this very seriously. West Ham say they are a proud and inclusive club and that doesn’t appear to be the case with the DFLA."

West Ham insist they are powerless to take action against Smith because members of the official supporters' board are not appointed by the club.

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