Match receipts and private contributions totalling £3.3 million from a recent football game between Chelsea and the US-based New England Revolution have been distributed to charities fighting antisemitism.
Both clubs are owned by Jewish businessmen and have focused a great deal of attention on fighting antisemitism in the sport, culminating in the prestigious Final Whistle on Hate charity match held in May.
A total of 16 organisations fighting intolerance, prejudice and discrimination are now set to benefit from the takings on the day, with Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich and the Revolution’s Robert Kraft giving each one up to £450,000. Both owners chipped in substantial sums to reach the £3.3 million total.
Among the beneficiaries are the UK-based Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors antisemitism and protects Jewish communal buildings, and the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), which takes British schoolchildren to Auschwitz.
Alongside the US-based Anti-Defamation League and the World Jewish Congress, HET was one of just three organisations to get the maximum available donation, after each was deemed to have “global reach”.
- Read Justin Cohen’s report from the Final Whistle on Hate match here.
- Chelsea owner pledges £3.9m for new Robert Kraft antisemitism foundation
- OPINION – Bruce Buck: How Roman Abramovich inspired our antisemitism campaign
Another UK-based charity to benefit from the Chelsea-Revolution match proceeds is Kick It Out, which has been campaigning against prejudice in football for 25 years.
Among the US-based beneficiaries was the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The shul community is still recovering and rebuilding after a suspected far-right sympathiser killed 11 worshippers and injured seven in a mass shooting in October.
Abramovich, who now spends much of his time in Israel after difficulties obtaining a UK visa, has donated around £400 million to Jewish charities in recent years, and this month sponsored a friendly match between Chelsea’s women’s team and the Israeli national side in Tel Aviv.
Alongside @NERevolution, we have distributed the $4 million in proceeds from our Final Whistle on Hate charity match, which was held at Gillette Stadium in May, to 16 organisations dedicated to combatting antisemitism and discrimination… #SayNoToAntisemitism
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 30, 2019