Chelsea to send racist fans to Auschwitz
Chelsea have revealed plans to send racist supporters to Auschwitz rather than issue them with banning orders.
The Blues plans to educate supporters who are caught being racist and will offer them the chance to attend education courses at the Nazi concentration camp in Poland rather than being banned from attending matches at Stamford Bridge.
The club will pick up all the costs for travel and attendance at the courses.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish, is behind the initiative to tackle antisemitism among the club’s supporters, according to The Sun. He told the board that he had observed an increase in antisemitic behaviour in recent years.
The club’s chairman Bruce Buck told the tabloid: “If you just ban people, you will never change their behaviour.
“This policy gives them the chance to realise what they have done, to make them want to behave better.
“In the past, we would take them from the crowd and ban them, for up to three years.
“Now we say ‘You did something wrong. You have the option.
“We can ban you or you can spend some time with our diversity officers, understanding what you did wrong’.
“It is hard to act when a group of 50 or 100 people are chanting. That’s virtually impossible to deal with or try to drag them out of the stadium.
“But if we have individuals that we can identify, we can act.”
Chelsea publicly criticised some of their own fans for antisemitic chanting towards rivals Tottenham Hotspur during a game at Leicester City in September 2017.
In June, the Blues organised an official trip to Auschwitz for 150 supporters plus club employees. The effectiveness of that visit appears to have convinced the club to push ahead with the new initiative.