Ange Postecoglou Aims to Offer Fans ‘Escapism’ and ‘Solace’ Amidst Israel-Hamas Conflict

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Ange Postecoglou hopes his Tottenham side can provide ‘escapism’ to supporters affected by the war between Israel and Hamas.

Spurs find themselves in a unique position when it comes to the conflict in the Middle East as a club with a deep-rooted Jewish heritage and the only Israeli player in the Premier League in Manor Solomon.

The visit of Fulham on Monday marks the first time Spurs have played at home since the conflict began and emotions will, naturally, run high.

Postecoglou admitted such an occasion cannot be considered ‘business as usual’ but believes football has the power to pull people away, albeit briefly, from their struggles, even ones as atrocious as those in Israel and Gaza.

‘I’ve always felt sport, especially football, the greatest role it can play, and it sounds trivial at times but it is, it can be a form of escapism,’ said Postecoglou.

Ange Postecoglou hopes his Tottenham side can provide ‘escapism’ to supporters affected by the war between Israel and Hamas

Spurs find themselves in a unique position when it comes to the conflict in the Middle East as a club with a deep-rooted Jewish heritage

Spurs find themselves in a unique position when it comes to the conflict in the Middle East as a club with a deep-rooted Jewish heritage 

They also have the only Israeli player in the Premier League in Manor Solomon

They also have the only Israeli player in the Premier League in Manor Solomon

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‘Ninety minutes where you can take people who are struggling with wherever they are in life, just away from it, just for a little while, waiting for that period of time that you know you’re around people supporting their football club. You are united as one for that moment.

‘Maybe, within that context, we can provide some sort of small solace or comfort or even a little bit of joy that takes them away from whatever they’re going through.

‘I think when football plays that role, it can show the best of who we can be as a human race.’

Tottenham faced criticism from their own supporters in how they responded to the Hamas atrocities and the war that’s followed.

Their statement, posted five days after the attacks, refused to use the word ‘terrorism’ or mention Solomon.

The chair of Tottenham’s Tribute Trust resigned in the wake of the response, citing a ‘chronic lack of moral clarity’.

Postecoglou said his side will try to 'provide some sort of small solace or comfort or even a little bit of joy' to those affected

Postecoglou said his side will try to ‘provide some sort of small solace or comfort or even a little bit of joy’ to those affected

Tottenham take on Fulham on Monday night as Solomon faces his former club for the first time

Tottenham take on Fulham on Monday night as Solomon faces his former club for the first time

Spurs urged fans not to bring national flags on Monday night. 

‘A football match is not an appropriate arena to display flags of any political or religious affiliation or anything that could possibly be considered inflammatory,’ a club email told supporters. ‘This can include national flags during times of political conflicts, campaigns or issues.’

‘I am not the custodian of this club,’ added Postecoglou. ‘I have been at this club for four months. People have spent lifetimes in these clubs. I am not going to go around telling people how to feel, how to behave, how to act, what to think.

‘It’s very easy for others to cast judgement but, in all these things, you are guided by people who are directly affected.

‘In terms of the club’s position, whatever club I have been at, I have always been guided by their response to these things because they talk to a lot more people and have a better understanding of what the current climate is than somebody like me.’

‘I am not going to judge how people behave or what they might do in such events but, within our role, we go there on Monday night to play, hopefully, some exciting football and bring some smiles to faces and give people something to feel good about.’

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