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Chelsea owner Abramovich issues Holocaust Remembrance Day plea

Billionaire, who is Israel’s wealthiest citizen, calls for more action against anti-Semitism among British soccer club’s fans and around the world

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich holding a banner saying 'Say No to Antisemitism' in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 2021. (Courtesy: Chelsea FC/President Rivlin/GPO)
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich holding a banner saying 'Say No to Antisemitism' in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 2021. (Courtesy: Chelsea FC/President Rivlin/GPO)

LONDON, United Kingdom — Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has issued a plea for discrimination to be challenged at the Premier League soccer club and across the world as part of the English club’s campaign against anti-Semitism.

The Russian billionaire — who has acquired Israeli citizenship and is the Jewish state’s richest national — made the comments in a book, “49 Flames,” that the club has published to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, featuring tributes to athletes murdered by the Nazis.

“I hope these stories will serve both as a reminder of the atrocities suffered during the Holocaust and also as an inspiration to all of us to do our utmost to prevent them from ever happening again,” Abramovich wrote.

Chelsea’s campaign against anti-Semitism was initiated by Abramovich in response to concerns against hate crimes being faced by fellow Jews. Abramovich stresses that Chelsea should be “welcoming to everyone,” with the club working to eradicate discriminatory behavior among its own fans.

“We are all too often reminded there is more to be done,” Abramovich wrote in the book.

“We can all do something to challenge discrimination at our club, in our communities and in the world around us. With your help, Chelsea can play a leading role in this vital work and demonstrate that we truly are a club open to all.”

Chelsea will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day before the Premier League game against Wolverhampton on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, which is still closed to fans due to the pandemic. It is the first game with Thomas Tuchel managing the club after the dismissal of Frank Lampard.

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