Chelsea in talks over antisemitism match against New England Revolution in U.S. – sources

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Chelsea are in discussions about playing a friendly match against MLS club New England Revolution next summer as part of their antisemitism initiative, sources have told ESPN FC.

Last week, Robert Kraft, the owner of the Revolution and the New England Patriots, told the World Jewish Congress he had spoken to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich about a game that would see both men donate $1 million (£778,565) to the fight against antisemitism, with all money from ticket sales going to the cause.

Sources told ESPN FC that talks remain in the early stages, with the match set to take place in New England.

Kraft had indicated it could be played in the spring, but Chelsea’s packed schedule means the only available date at that time would be the March international break, when many of their biggest names would be representing their countries.

The fight against antisemitism has been championed by Abramovich, who was granted Israeli citizenship in May after his British investor visa was not renewed.

The Chelsea owner wants to eradicate it from the club’s fanbase, and in January announced the launch of the “Say No To Antisemitism” campaign in the matchday programme.

Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro was invited to Cobham to address the first-team squad in January, while the club sent a delegation to attend the annual March of the Living at Auschwitz in April. This was followed in June by an official visit, consisting of 150 supporters and club officials, to the Nazi concentration camp.

Sources told ESPN FC last month that Chelsea are committed to engaging any racist supporters in educational courses rather than imposing blanket bans, and could send low-level offenders on funded trips to Auschwitz as part of their drive to stamp out antisemitism.

Kraft has donated more than $100m to Jewish and Israeli causes along with his late wife Myra, funding the start of the Israel Football League and the construction of the 25-acre Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem.

Last year, he said he was “intrigued” by the prospect of owning a Premier League club and has been mentioned in the past as a potential future suitor for Chelsea.