Chelsea FC to commemorate Holocaust anniversary during Wednesday’s match

Chelsea will be marking the third anniversary of its Say No To Antisemitism campaign during Wednesday’s match against the Wolverhampton Wanderers taking place at Stamford Bridge stadium.The match and Chelsea’s special tribute coincides with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.Team owner Roman Abramovich inaugurated the Say No To Antisemitism campaign in 2018. As part of the effort, Abramovich, along with Chelsea players, management, staff and fans have personally met with Holocaust survivors, joined the March of the Living and currently stand as role models in the struggle to combat antisemitism worldwide.The campaign has invoked the assistance of the World Jewish Congress, ADL, the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Imperial War Museum, the Royal Air Force, Kick It Out and other organizations that battle antisemitism on the frontlines.

The campaign’s 
latest initiative, located at Stamford Bridge, features a mural commissioned by Israeli-British artist Solomon Souza, depicting two Jewish soccer players and a WWII prisoner of war in a commemoration to Jewish athletes and the Holocaust “49 Flames.” Also featured are contributions from “leading voices against antisemitism,” led affectionately by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Natan Sharansky, UK Government Antisemitism Adviser Lord John Mann and Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog, among others.At this year’s Jerusalem Post Annual Conference, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chelsea Football Club chairman Bruce Buck explained the origins and effectiveness of Chelsea’s “Say No to Antisemitism” campaign, which raises awareness about antisemitism and educates players, staff, fans and the community at large about the issue.The club is leveraging its own 500 million-strong online fan base for this educational effort, as well as harnessing leading global organizations, influencers and officials to amplify the message.Speaking with Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz, Buck said that one of Abramovich’s guiding principles in purchasing the team in 2003 was to serve and help the community. In 2017, he called a meeting of Chelsea directors to discuss the reemergence of antisemitism across Europe and to initiate solutions that the club could implement. In January 2018, Chelsea started its “Say No to Antisemitism” campaign, which Buck says will continue indefinitely.

Buck explained that Chelsea has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, saying, “If you’re going to fight antisemitism, you need to know what you are fighting. The definition was important to us, and has been adopted by the United Kingdom, so we thought it was important for us to adopt.”Buck added that, historically, antisemitism and racism have been a problem at soccer matches in the UK, and that the team’s fan base is pleased with Chelsea’s proactive stance in fighting antisemitism.

Alan Rosenbaum contributed to this report.


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