Tonight’s Premier League match with Bournemouth marks the start of our campaign to tackle antisemitism in football.
The initiative is supported by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich – who discusses the issue in a special foreword in tonight’s matchday programme – and forms part of our ongoing inclusion work, through our Building Bridges campaign.
We are working with organisations and individuals at home and abroad – including the Holocaust Educational Trust, Jewish Museum London, Community Security Trust, Kick It Out, World Jewish Congress, Anne Frank House and Maccabi GB – to take a lead on raising awareness of antisemitism and its impact on the Jewish community and society as a whole.
Prior to kick-off tonight a ‘Say No To Antisemitism’ banner will be unveiled on the pitch, and fans will be offered a free ‘Building Bridges’ phone wallet upon arrival. A picture montage featuring players, fans, staff, high-profile individuals from across the Jewish community and antisemitism campaigners from around the world supporting the initiative will be shown on the big screens.
Talking about the initiative, Antonio Conte said: ‘Tonight the club is launching a new campaign to raise awareness of antisemitism in football.
‘This is a very serious issue, not only in the sport, but also in society, and it is important that we all reject discrimination of any kind. Football is loved by people from every different background, and we are very proud to welcome everybody to Chelsea.’
As part of the build-up to tonight’s launch the manager, players and coaching staff also welcomed Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro BEM to Cobham to share the story of his experiences.
We have also established a steering committee of leading experts who are supporting us in developing this campaign, led by Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck. You can find a full list of committee members and more information on our new initiative by clicking here.
The Chairman of tonight’s opponents Bournemouth, Jeff Mostyn, has also pledged support for the campaign, he said: ‘We are proud to support Chelsea’s campaign to raise awareness of and educate people about antisemitism.
‘Our club moto is “Together, Anything is Possible” and we work hard in the community to consistently deliver a message of diversity, equality and inclusion. We believe that football is for all and people from every walk of life should feel safe and comfortable attending matches.
‘This is an excellent initiative and, as part of the Jewish community, I am proud that Chelsea’s campaign is being launched today for our visit to Stamford Bridge.’
As part of our work, the Chelsea Foundation’s equality and diversity workshops in primary schools will be extended to talk specifically about Jewish faith and culture, and the club will develop an education programme for supporters banned for antisemitic behaviour.
Additional activities taking place throughout the year will include educational visits to former concentration camps for staff, fans and stewards, an exhibition at the Chelsea Museum on football and the Jewish community, and screenings of Liga Terezin – a documentary about a football league run from a concentration camp during the Holocaust.
Click to find out more about Building Bridges and how you can support our equality work.