Chelsea gives ‘red card to hate’ in new initiative with World Jewish Congress
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Chelsea gives ‘red card to hate’ in new initiative with World Jewish Congress

Roman Abramovich hoping project "will make a difference in combating anti-Semitism in the UK and elsewhere."

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, WJC President Ronald Lauder and WJC CEO Robert Singer. Picture: Shahar Azran
Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, WJC President Ronald Lauder and WJC CEO Robert Singer. Picture: Shahar Azran

Chelsea Football Club and The World Jewish Congress have today launched a project to combat anti-Semitism in sport.

Under the banner of a “Red Card for Hate”, the joint-initiative was made possible following contributions from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and the World Jewish Congress.

Abramovich said: “Since we launched Chelsea’s anti-Semitism initiative, I have been very pleased with the positive response from our supporters and from the community as such. This partnership is the next step to increase our efforts and I am proud to be partnering with the World Jewish Congress, whose leadership and expertise in these issues are truly remarkable. I hope that our joint efforts will make a difference in combating anti-Semtism in the UK and elsewhere.”

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said:The World Jewish Congress is proud to partner with Chelsea FC and its owner Roman Abramovich in this critical endeavor to pull a red card on the demonstrations of hatred, anti-Semitism, and threats of violence running rampant in sports stadiums across the world.”

Chelsea launched their campaign to tackle anti-Semitism ahead their match against Bournemouth in January

WJC CEO and Executive Vice President said Robert Singer added: “We applaud Chelsea for taking the courageous lead in addressing this epidemic, and urge other sports clubs, federations, and associations to follow its example by putting words into action to enforce a zero-tolerance approach to hate and educate others about its dangers. The road ahead won’t be easy, but I am confident that working together we will succeed in kicking anti-Semitism off the field once and for all.”

The project will incorporate a three-pronged approach. Starting at the end of the month, the Pitch for Hope Competition will invite students in the US, UK and Israel to submit their ideas for a project to harness the spirit of sport to combat anti-Semitism and build bridges between people of different religious, ethnic and national backgrounds. Finalists will then present their proposals at Stamford Bridge to a panel of judges representing WJC and Chelsea. The winners from each country will receive £7,100 from the two organisations to carry out their pilot project, with the competition set to be launched in France and Germany at the end of the year, with additional countries to follow.

The second component will see WJC and Chelsea produce a series of videos to raise awareness about the tangible effects of anti-Semitism and discrimination, to be rolled out over the course of the 2018-2019 football season, both at games and on social media platforms, while the final part will see both bodies host a special forum in mid-2019 to bring together national football associations, football clubs, players, government officials, and representatives of civil society to share best practices and create a fertile ground for discussion and collaboration, as well as create a network of dedicated people and organisations to enhance the fight against anti-Semitism in sports.

 

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