Wednesday is Holocaust Memorial Day, and Roman Abramovich is keen for Chelsea to mark the occasion for the third year running.
Before the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, which will be new manager, Thomas Tuchel’s first in charge of the Blues, a tribute will highlight the stories of 20 sportsmen and women, 17 of whom were of Jewish heritage and who were killed by the Nazis.
As Sky Sports report, it’s part of Abramovich’s commitment to Chelsea’s ‘Say No To Anti-Semitism’ campaign, and the day was also marked with a club initiative in both 2019 and 2020.
The tribute is believed to form part of a wider ’49 flames’ project, which will see an installation at Stamford Bridge and which can be visited once the coronavirus protocols allow.
It’s clear that the initiative is close to Abramovich’s heart.
“When I first came to Chelsea, I had two ambitions: to create world-class teams on the pitch; and to ensure the club plays a positive role in all of its communities, using football as a vehicle to inspire and engage people around the issues that matter,” he said to the official Chelsea website.
“It has always been important to me to create a club that is welcoming to everyone. We actively celebrate our cultural and religious diversity and, through the work of the Chelsea Foundation, deliver programmes to promote equality and tackle discrimination all over the world.
“Nonetheless, we are all too often reminded there is more to be done. Three years ago, we launched the Say No to Antisemitism campaign. I am incredibly proud about the amount of progress we have made and the impact we have had since we started, and I am thankful for all the support from Chelsea fans who have taken this campaign to heart.”
For an owner and a club that are often much maligned, continuing to shine a light on such atrocities and the stories behind them is laudable.