July 30, 2021

From Stamford Bridge to Auschwitz | sports

From Stamford Bridge to Auschwitz | sports

The idea seems out of The mechanical orange, the film by Stanley Kubrick in which a young delinquent was subjected to shock therapy consisting of hours of viewing vandalism to stimulate his conscience. Chelsea, the football club owned by the Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, is considering the possibility of taking a drastic turn to the way in which he confronts latent anti-Semitism among his most furious fans. According to the newspaper The Sun, the entity's management will offer the violent ones to choose between the ban on attending matches, for a maximum of five years, or participate in reeducation courses that would include a visit to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. , in Poland, symbol of the Holocaust.

"If you limit yourself to banning them, you will never change their behavior," Blues president Bruce Bruck told the newspaper. "Now what we say to you is: 'You have done something that is wrong. You have two options. We can veto you or you can dedicate part of your time to spend it with our agents promoting diversity, and understand what you did wrong. "

In September 2017, after a game in Leicester against Tottenham, which has a notable base of Jewish fans, Chelsea acted harshly against a group of fans who had uttered anti-Semitic chants in the field. Abramovich, who is Jewish, has promoted a new way of dealing with the problem. In the political debate in the United Kingdom, the question of latent anti-Semitism in the society of this country has entered strongly. The leader of the Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has ended up asking for excuses for the ambiguous attitudes regarding this issue that has maintained the formation in recent years.

A delegation from Chelsea attended the March of the Living in Auschwitz last April, followed by a visit by 150 club representatives, including employees and fans, to the infamous Polish concentration camp. Holocaust survivors have also lent themselves to giving talks about their experience to members of the institution. "The trips to Auschwitz were really important, and we are considering organizing more, as well as holding parallel events with the same objective," explained Bruck.

The idea has counted from the first minute with the support of the Jewish World Congress, the Holocaust Education Fund and the prestigious Jewish rabbi Barry Marcus. "It has taken us five years to understand the seriousness of the matter. A year ago, Roman had a long conversation with club officials. He had perceived an increase in anti-Semitic sentiment throughout the world, and he ordered us to study how to carry out a project that could cope with this situation, "adds Bruck.

Since then, the club has gone to work. Among other things, he has produced a film written and directed by the writer and fan Ivor Baddiel, in which he narrates with harshness the ravages of anti-Semitism. The premiere took place this week in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The film shows real images of groups of fans singing anti-Semitic proclamations along with images of the consequences of the Holocaust.

The Chelsea campaign has been greeted with enthusiasm by the political authorities and the Israeli media. Last January, for example, 40,000 fans concentrated in Stamford Bridge spent the minutes before the meeting to keep silence in honor of the Jewish victims. The team took advantage of that opportunity to launch a campaign that has sustained throughout the year and in which it has involved its star players, the management, employees and many fans. The video with which the project started showed images of all of them holding a sign announcing "Say no to anti-Semitism."

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