Chelsea conference on antisemitism postponed due to infection fears

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Chelsea conference on antisemitism postponed due to infection fears

The event at Stamford Bridge with one of Israel's top papers, featuring politicians, community leaders and sports personalities, has been pushed back to September

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Chelsea's home ground, Stamford Bridge. (Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire)
Chelsea's home ground, Stamford Bridge. (Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire)

An antisemitism conference at Stamford Bridge hosted by Chelsea Football Club and one of Israel’s top papers has been postponed to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

Chelsea Football Club is teaming up with one of Israel’s top newspapers for a policy conference, in a bid to continue its battle against antisemitism.

The Blues announced the March event at Stamford Bridge with the Jerusalem Post, which will feature politicians from the UK and Israel, as well as community leaders and sports personalities.

But organisers notified participants on Thursday the conference would be postponed to 3 September “following travelling restrictions for many speakers due to the spread of the Coronavirus.”

Health minister Edward Argar said today that efforts to tackle the virus outbreak are still in the “containment” phase.

The battle against antisemitism in sport will be at the forefront of the discussion, in addition to diplomatic and security challenges, as well as bilateral relations.

Confirmed speakers include Israeli politicians Israel Katz and Gilad Erdan, ambassador Mark Regev, Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, the government’s antisemitism adviser Lord John Mann, and Conservative Friends of Israel chair, Stephen Crabb MP. The captain of the Israeli national women’s football team, Karin Sendel, will also feature alongside Chelsea representatives.

The conference is part of Chelsea’s ongoing ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign which was launched in January 2018, with the backing of owner Roman Abramovich. Earlier this year, the club adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post, said the paper is excited to participate “especially now as Israeli-British relations are flourishing and, at the same time, antisemitism is on the rise across the globe.”

Bruce Buck, Chairman Chelsea Football Club said the event can “further highlight the importance to tackle the rise of antisemitism we have seen across the world.

Saying the sport has “an unrivalled ability to do good in society”, he added “we must harness this power to tackle all forms of discrimination in the stands and our communities.”

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