Sun, Oct 14, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Chelsea mulls visits to Nazi camps for racist fans

AFP, LONDON

Chelsea are sending fans banned for anti-Semitism on diversity training courses that could end with visits to Nazi concentration camps, the club said this week.

The initiative for fans guilty of non-criminal racist acts is part of owner Roman Abramovich’s ongoing initiative to stamp out anti-Semitism, chairman Bruce Buck said.

The club has already organized two visits to concentration camps as part of their efforts to raise awareness of the issue, and fans on the voluntary diversity course could be invited on future trips.

“If you just ban the people, you will never change their behavior,” Buck said in comments reported by the Sun.

The club have previously criticized pockets of their own fans over anti-Semitic chants directed at London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who have a large Jewish fanbase.

Abramovich, who is himself Jewish, demanded a plan to deal with the issue, resulting in club delegations twice visiting the Auschwitz camp.

Holocaust survivors Harry Spiro and Mala Tribich have shared their stories at events hosted by the club as part of the initiative, which is backed by Jewish leaders.

“Hearing from a survivor, learning about the Holocaust and understanding what language constitutes hate speech all contribute to a better understanding and greater awareness of what anti-Semitism is and how to combat it,” Holocaust Educational Trust CEO Karen Pollock said.

“Through this initiative, Chelsea are making a real commitment in fighting this issue within the game and the wider community,” she added.

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