Chelsea confirm plans to send racist fans to visit Auschwitz instead of imposing banning orders
EDUCATION THE KEY
Club believe educating fans rather than ordering them to stay away will prove to be a more effective way of combating anti-Semitism
Chelsea have announced plans to send racist supporters on trips to Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz instead of banning them from games.
The Blues Jewish owner Roman Abramovich is spearheading the initiative, designed to combat anti-Semitism at the Premier League club.
Chelsea want to offer supporters caught in racism storms the chance to attend education courses at the World War Two concentration camp in Poland instead of being banned from attending matches at the Premier League club.
“If you just ban people, you will never change their behaviour,” Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck told The Sun.
“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.”
Chelsea publicly criticised a number of their own fans for anti-Semitic chanting against rivals Tottenham in September 2017.
Buck added: “It is hard to act when a group of 50 or 100 people are chanting. Thats 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.”
A Chelsea delegation attended the annual March of the Living at Auschwitz in April and, this summer, a group of around 150 Blues supporters and club employees attended the notorious Nazi death camp in Poland.
Holocaust survivors have also given talks to the Chelsea first-team squad.
Buck added: “The trips to Auschwitz were really important and effective and we will consider more as well as other things that will affect people.
“We want to convince other clubs to do their own things and make a real dent in what is still a problem.”