Chelsea Football Club is observing Holocaust Memorial Day today in remembrance of the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered during the Second World War, and the millions of people killed in Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides.
Earlier this month, the club announced a new campaign to raise awareness of and to educate our players, staff, fans and the wider community about antisemitism in football, ahead of its launch at Wednesday night’s Premier League game against Bournemouth. The initiative is supported by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich.
As part of this we welcomed Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro BEM to share the story of his experiences with our players and coaching staff at Cobham.
Cesar Azpilicueta gave his thoughts on meeting Harry and learning about his history.
‘It was very inspiring for all of us to listen to his experiences and his tough life which brought him to England,’ said Azpilicueta. ‘We should all learn from him because he’s a person who has fought really hard.
‘Football is a sport which is watched all around the world. We have many people from different countries and different religions who have had very different lives. It’s important for us to all mix together, live with respect and say no to antisemitism and racism. We can all play a big part, on and off the pitch, and through football, to make it a better world.’
Everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club. 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.
Through the campaign, we will be working with organisations and individuals at home and abroad, including the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Jewish Museum London, the Community Security Trust, Kick It Out, the World Jewish Congress and the Anne Frank House. We have also established a steering committee of experts who are supporting us in developing this campaign. The committee is led by Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck.
Holocaust Memorial Day is remembered every year on 27 January, the day the infamous concentration and death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated.
It is an opportunity for us to remember the atrocities of the past, and to ensure that such horrors are never repeated.
The Holocaust Educational Trust is the leading UK charity working to raise awareness and to educate about the Holocaust. Click to find out more
Wednesday night’s matchday programme will contain more content related to the club’s antisemitism campaign, including a special front cover, a foreword from Mr Abramovich and more on Harry Spiro’s visit to Cobham. There will also be more information on this website.