Soccer Club's Racist Fans to Get All-Expenses-Paid Trip

Racist Chelsea supporters can choose a ban or Auschwitz
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2018 7:09 AM CDT
Chelsea fans celebrate after winning the English FA Cup final soccer match v Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London on May 19, 2018.   (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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(Newser) – Hurling racial slurs at a Chelsea soccer match could mean an all-expenses-paid jaunt to Poland. It's not exactly a dreamy getaway: After years of issuing bans to racist fans, the English Premier League team is offering to send them instead to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz for a history lesson, per the Telegraph. "If you just ban people, you will never change their behavior," chairman Bruce Buck tells the Sun. "This policy gives them the chance to realize what they have done, to make them want to behave better." Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish, is said to have spearheaded the move, coming a year after the club called out some of its fans for an anti-Semitic chant.

"A year ago, Roman sat down with senior people at the club and had a conversation," says Buck. "He had noticed an increase in anti-Semitism around the world and directed us to see what we could do implement a long-term project to combat it." Two visits to Auschwitz by club employees and supporters in April and June "were really important and effective," he continues, adding his hope that other Premier League clubs will "do their own things and make a real dent in what is still a problem." (Take this example of bad behavior by Chelsea fans.)

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