On Thursday 11 November, the Chelsea FC Foundation in partnership with the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG), the Office of Lord Mann and the International Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) will be co-hosting a one-day Global Conference on Football's Role in Combatting Antisemitism.
This conference, which is the first of its kind and will be taking place at the Austria Vienna football stadium in Vienna, will bring together experts and leaders from the world of sports and policy to discuss the prevalence of antisemitism in football, as well as the role football can play in combatting antisemitism in the game and wider society.
The one-day event will include high-level speakers from the Austrian Government, the European Commission, UNESCO and from the European football clubs Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund. Speakers include Karoline Edtstadler, Austrian Federal Minister for the EU and the Constitution, Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on Combatting Antisemitism, Dr. Kathrin Meyer, IHRA Secretary General, Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences UNESCO and Professor Lee Igel, Clinical Professor in the NYU Tisch Institute for Global Sport. Chelsea Women Manager and Chelsea Foundation Trustee Emma Hayes will present opening remarks.
The programme will include a wide range of panel sessions and participants will include national coordinators on Antisemitism, opinion leaders as well as experts and representatives from some of the largest football clubs in Europe.
Lord John Mann, UK Government’s Independent adviser on Antisemitism, said: ‘This conference is the first of its kind. It will highlight examples of best practice by the two leading clubs Chelsea and Dortmund and celebrate the adoption of the IHRA definition by the Austrian Football Federation which demonstrates that the work on antisemitism in football is becoming a global phenomenon.’
Bruce Buck, Chelsea FC Chairman also commented on the event: ‘We are pleased to be co-hosting this conference, which we hope continues to elevate the conversation about the dangerous rise of antisemitism in society, and the important role football can play in combatting it.
‘Four years ago, our club owner Roman Abramovich initiated Chelsea’s global campaign against antisemitism, and whilst we see the positive effects these efforts have had, we know more needs to be done. We welcome the opportunity to partner with more clubs from around the world to continue working towards a more tolerant society’.
President Oskar Deutsch, Jewish Community Vienna IKG also commented: ‘We are honoured to partner with the Chelsea Foundation, Lord John Mann and the International Coalition for Combating Antisemitism to kickstart this global campaign to combat antisemitism in football in Vienna.
'Antisemitism is a threat that affects all of us: communities small and large, including fan communities. Together, we are hosting leaders in the world of football who have proven that they care about their fans by combatting antisemitism in their stadiums and beyond. I am sure that these efforts will be amplified by many more football clubs around the globe to ban antisemitic hate from our stadiums and to make every matchday a celebration of the club we support and the sport we love.’