Chelsea take on MLS club New England Revolution this evening in a game that isn’t just simply an end of season jaunt to maximise popularity over the pond. The game is titled ‘Final Whistle on Hate’, an attempt to help the fight against antisemitism both within and outside of the game.
Chelsea Making a Huge Statement With ‘Final Whistle on Hate’ Match
They Have Previous
The Blues have often received bad press following reported incidents regarding chants directed at rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The North London club traditionally have a large Jewish following and have embraced that fact over the years.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is Jewish, alongside New England owner Robert Kraft, he has donated $1million to the cause.
Very little is heard from the Russian Billionaire. However, he spoke to chelseafc.com ahead of the game.
The 52-year-old said: “I am proud of the work Chelsea does to promote equality and tackle discrimination all over the world. The Say No To Antisemitism campaign has already achieved so much in raising awareness of this important issue, but there remains a lot of work to do. I am delighted to join forces with New England Revolution and Mr Kraft in this initiative and we look forward to the match.”
Tonight’s match shows Chelsea as a club are not turning a blind eye to the problem in hand. The Blues have taken a 23-man squad made up mainly of regular first-team players and a handful of youngsters.
The Blues squad have taken part in activities to draw awareness to the issues regarding antisemitism. A questions and answers session including former boss Avram Grant took place yesterday, and Chelsea players also visited a Holocaust memorial as a mark of respect. A number of players also visited Fuller Middle School, much to the delight of the pupils.
The game itself kicks off at 8pm local time (1am GMT) at The Gillette Stadium. Some people believing the timing isn’t great ahead of the Europa League Final in Baku. However, that date is still two weeks away. This evening’s match is a fine gesture from the West London club.
It’s likely Chelsea will make full use of the squad tonight. Risks over fitness are unlikely to be taken ahead of the season finale in Azerbaijan.
Youngsters to Grab Opportunity
It’s an opportunity for youngsters to shine. Those included are Reece James. The 19-year-old made a huge impact on loan at Wigan Athletic this season and is tipped by many fans to become a huge hit at Stamford Bridge.
Trevoh Chalobah is another who spent this season in the Championship, with a loan to Ipswich Town. Newly named Chelsea academy player of the year Connor Gallagher will be keen to shine. Mark Guehi, who was on the bench last Sunday, and striker Ike Ugbo make up the young quota that have made the trip.
Whatever the final score may be this evening, it is irrelevant due to the reason for the trip: putting a stop to antisemitism.