LONDON/NEW YORK—The Chelsea Football Club announced that it will launch a campaign to raise awareness among players, staff, fans and the wider community about ant-Semitism in football.
The initiative, which was announced on Tuesday under the leadership of club owner Roman Abramovich, will be launched officially on 31 January at the Premier League game against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge Stadium, with an apparently high-profile activity that has yet to be announced.
“Everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club,” Chelsea FC said in a statement. “Our players, staff, fans and visitors to the club come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included.”
The club will work together with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), the Jewish Museum, the Community Security Trust (CST), Kick It Out, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the Anne Frank House on the campaign.
Chelsea has joined the World Jewish Congress’ #WeRemember campaign as part of its own long-term educational initiative to raise awareness of the persisting phenomenon of anti-Semitism in sports.
“The World Jewish Congress deeply appreciates the comprehensive efforts being made by the Chelsea Football Club to raise awareness of the dangerous manifestations of anti-Semitism and racism in sports. The value of one of the most prominent sports clubs in the world vigorously leading the charge in addressing this crucial issue, cannot be overstated,” said World Jewish Congress CEO and Vice President Robert Singer.
“Education is key to these efforts, and we encourage clubs and organizations in every field to emulate and embrace the initiatives being undertaken by Chelsea to make it clear that hatred has no place in sport.”
Roman Abramovich told the World Jewish Congress: “With people around the world observing International Holocaust Memorial Day later this month, we are reminded that there is still much to be done in the fight against anti-Semitism. That’s why I am proud to have launched, together with Chelsea Football Club, this initiative to challenge anti-Semitism in all its forms. I am very impressed by the important work the World Jewish Congress is doing in this area and am delighted, therefore, with the partnership we have entered into to jointly raise awareness of anti-Semitism in sport and together making an effort to tackle it.”
The Chelsea Football Club is one of more than 70 partner organizations to join the #WeRemember campaign, a social media campaign aimed to stop xenophobia, anti-Semitism and hatred of all kinds by asking individuals to photograph themselves holding a #WeRemember sign and posting the image to social media. Many leading Israeli sports teams have also joined the cause, including Hapoel Beer Sheva, Hapoel Katamon, and Maccabi Haifa.
Since the 2018 #WeRemember campaign launched on January 8, more than 125 million people have been reached, with over 150,000 participants, including those posting #WeRemember signs, sharing and actively supporting the campaign on social media, and posting content about the Holocaust with the #WeRemember hashtag. The campaign is currently active in 50 countries, and in 23 languages.
The #WeRemember campaign will run through International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the end of January, culminating with a live projection of all participant photos, interviews with Holocaust survivors, and messages from influencers from varied backgrounds, professions, ages and religions on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau from January 24-27. Campaign materials will be translated into dozens of languages and posted on the WJC and partner channels throughout the month.