The officials of the top English football club Chelsea FC are introducing a new policy on the anti-semitic behaviour of the team’s fans by organising trips to the Auschwitz-Birkenau WWII concentration camp in Poland.
The initiative came from Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch of Jewish descent.
According to the Chelsea FC chairman Bruce Buck, the possibility of taking an educational trip would be more effective instead of “rewarding” fans with banning them from entering the stadium.
“If you only ban fans, they will never change their attitude. The new policy is giving them a chance to understand what have they done,” he stressed.
Mr Buck added that in the past the club’s authorities caught such people from the crowd and punished them bans as long as three years.
“Now we say: you made a mistake, but you have a choice. It is difficult to do anything when 50 or 100 people are chanting, it is impossible to throw them all out of the stadium. However, if we are able to identify individuals, then we can act,” Mr Buck said.
In September 2017, Chelsea supporters shouted anti-Semitic slogans at Tottenham Hotspur fans, who, to a large extent, have been identifying with the Jewish community since the beginning of the 20th century.
In response to this behaviour, in April this year a delegation of 150 Chelsea fans and club employees took part in the annual March of the Living at Auschwitz. They also had the opportunity to talk with Holocaust survivors.