Chelsea step up anti-Semitism campaign10 March 2006

Chelsea Football Club has joined forces with anti-racism campaigners, sections of the Jewish community and the Football Association to urge supporters to unite against anti-Semitism during their match against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday 11 March 2006. Chelsea FC have made huge strides in tackling racism and want to ensure that any fans who use anti-Jewish abuse are identified and appropriate action taken.

A number of preventative measures are being taken by Chelsea to deal with anti-Semitism, including stewarding and policing initiatives, general awareness raising about the issue, and messages spelling out what is offensive. The Football Association will have an observer at the match briefed to report back if there is any abuse. This could lead to action by the governing body against any supporters found guilty of engaging in any racial or anti- Semitic abuse.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said, “Chelsea FC is proud of its record in tackling racism and stamping out anti-Semitism is part of that. The match against Spurs is a great opportunity to show this. We urge all supporters to respect this and, if there is any abuse, report it. Anti-Semitism is unacceptable and jeopardises what coming to Stamford Bridge should be about.”

Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of UK FARE partner Kick It Out, said, “Chelsea deserve credit for the strides they have made in challenging racism over a generation and like all forward thinking clubs they are looking to encourage diversity within their fan base. It is right that the club should be dealing with any elements of racial abuse that might remain such as anti-Semitism. Abuse of any ethnic or religious minority has no place in football.”

Simon Johnson, Director of Corporate Affairs at the FA also backed the stance, “The Football Association welcomes the steps announced by Chelsea Football Club and hopes that supporters will respect the requests that the club are making. As is the case with any form of discriminatory abuse, the FA take this issue very seriously. The message from us is that we will take action against clubs or others where abuse is evident.”

Anybody caught chanting or making anti-Semitic or racist remarks at Stamford Bridge will be arrested and prosecuted by the police. Chelsea will also ban guilty offenders from Stamford Bridge.