English and American soccer clubs join forces against anti-Semitism

  • JackSport14Dec
Russian billionaire and owner of the Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, is joining forces with Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Revolution football club, to fight anti-Semitism in the United States.
by JACK MILNER | Dec 13, 2018

Abramovich – who was recently said to have made aliyah – is on a mission to ensure his “Say No To Anti-Semitism” campaign remains active.

Abramovich launched this campaign at Chelsea Football Club at the end of last year, and has staged a number of projects to make people aware of the racist sentiments that pervades fans of the sport.

The Chelsea team will travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts, at the end of the European soccer season in April to raise money to promote equality and tolerance in the sport.

To help raise funds, Abramovich and Kraft will each donate $1 million (R14.3 million), with all proceeds from the match going towards programmes to combat anti-Semitism.

The joint project is motivated by the murder of 11 Jewish congregants by a gunman at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in November.

On announcing the move, Abramovich said, “I’m proud of the work Chelsea does to promote equality and tackle discrimination all over the world. The Say No To Anti-Semitism campaign has already achieved so much in raising awareness of this important issue, but there remains a lot of work to do.

“I am delighted to join forces with New England Revolution and Mr Kraft in this initiative, and we look forward to the match.”

Kraft, who is a member of the family that owns the Kraft food group and is said to be worth about $6.8 billion (R97 billion), was given an award for his work in sport at the World Jewish Congress’ Theodor Herzl Award dinner in November.

In his acceptance speech, Kraft reflected on the power of sport to break down barriers. “It’s clear we need to do more to help combat anti-Semitism and all hate crimes in the wake of on-going discrimination around the world, including the recent tragedy in Pittsburgh.

“We’re excited for the Revolution to host Chelsea in support of raising awareness of the dangerous manifestations of anti-Semitism.”

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