Chelsea to send racist fans on Auschwitz tours instead of imposing bans
What's the story?
Chelsea have been flying high this season under new manager Maurizio Sarri. The Blues are the only side to remain unbeaten in the Premier League and likewise, have made a perfect start to the UEFA Europa League too.
However, the West London club have been marred by off-field issues in recent days regarding Eden Hazard's future and now, rumours are circulating that Chelsea want to send racist fans on Auschwitz trips, The Guardian claims.
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The driving force behind this decision is none other than Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. The Russian is Jewish by religion and the idea of his proposal is intended to tackle antisemitism among fans.
In the past, Chelsea fans have been convicted of racial violence. One of the incidents dates back to February 2015 in France, when the travelling Blues fans were captured on video singing a racist song and furthermore, pushed a black skinned man of the Paris Metro, barring him from boarding the train.
The heart of the matter
Similarly, the Blues faithful were in the middle of another racism episode in September 2017. Chelsea publicly criticized and condemned their own set of fans for antisemitic chants against neighbours Tottenham Hotspur last campaign.
If the events of the past are likely to be repeated in the future then Abramovich already has a plan set in place. The Russian billionaire will not impose any bans or suspensions on the guilty but instead, offer them an opportunity to reform themselves through educational courses at the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz Poland.
“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," said Chelsea Chairman, Bruce Buck.
Abramovich's call to take action comes as a warning to all Chelsea supporters who will be forced to think twice before chanting anti-semitic chants.
Although the owner's choice might also embrace hostility from the rest, which is yet to be seen. Whatever, the outcome, Abramovich's leadership and initiative need to be appreciated since his declaration will send out a strong signal to not only Chelsea fans but to the rest of the league and also Europe, that racism will not be tolerated.