The owner of Chelsea Football Club and an investor in a top American side, will each donate a million dollars for programmes fighting antisemitism – when the two sides meet next year.
The Blues will face New England Revolution at the end of the season, through its ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ campaign.
The London side will travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts in the Spring, to raise money promoting equality and tolerance in the sport. This comes after Chelsea launched the campaign in January at Stamford Bridge, with the aim of raising awareness of and educating about antisemitism in football.
To help raise funds, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and New England Revolution Investor/Operator Robert Kraft will each donate £783,000 ($1 million) – with all proceeds from the match, going towards programmes that combat antisemitism.
Abramovich said: “I am proud of the work Chelsea does to promote equality and tackle discrimination all over the world. The Say No To Antisemitism campaign has already achieved so much in raising awareness of this important issue, but there remains a lot of work to do. I am delighted to join forces with New England Revolution and Mr Kraft in this initiative and we look forward to the match.”
This comes after 11 Jewish congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh were killed by a far-right gunman in November.
In his remarks accepting an award at the World Jewish Congress’ Theodor Herzl Award dinner, Kraft reflected on the power of sport in breaking down barriers in the wake of the deadly attack. He said: “It’s clear we need to do more to help combat antisemitism and all hate crimes in the wake of on-going discrimination around the world, including the recent tragedy in Pittsburgh,’ Mr Kraft said. ‘We’re excited for the Revolution to host Chelsea in support of raising awareness of the dangerous manifestations of antisemitism. All proceeds from the match will be dedicated to initiatives to combat hate crimes.”