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Chelsea owner Abramovich issues Holocaust Memorial Day plea

January 26, 2021 GMT
A general view of the Stamford Bridge Stadium ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Sheffield United in London, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. (Mike Hewitt/Pool via AP)
A general view of the Stamford Bridge Stadium ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Sheffield United in London, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. (Mike Hewitt/Pool via AP)

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

The Russian made the comments in a book, “49 Flames,” that the club has published to mark Holocaust Memorial 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.

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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 Holocaust Memorial 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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