LONDON & FOXBOROUGH – April 18, 2019 – Chelsea Football Club and the New England Revolution today announced that both teams will take part in the “March of the Living” event in Poland, held annually in remembrance of the Holocaust, on Thursday, May 2. The teams’ participation in the march will be the latest activity in a continuing series of commitments both organizations have made as part of a joint effort between Mr. Abramovich and the Kraft family to harness the power of sport to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination around the world.
The March of the Living is an annual event that brings people from around the world together to explore the history of the Holocaust, with an expected 10,000 people marching from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp complex built during World War II.
Last year, Chelsea FC was the first Premier League club to ever send a delegation to the March of the Living. This year, Chelsea FC will be joined by the Revolution, whose participation will represent the first appearance by a U.S. team. Participating from Chelsea will be Director Eugene Tenenbaum, CEO Guy Laurence, former manager Avram Grant, and club ambassador Steve Redgrave. Participants from the Revolution include President Brian Bilello and Club Ambassador Charlie Davies.
“Chelsea is honored to participate in the March of the Living for the second year in a row,” said Chelsea Director Eugene Tenenbaum. “We started this initiative to raise awareness of and tackle anti-Semitism in all its forms more than a year ago and sharing this experience of paying our respects to the millions of Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust with members of the New England Revolution goes a long way in spreading the message of unity and tolerance.”
“The New England Revolution are honored to join the March of the Living this year to recognize the legacy of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust,” said Revolution President Brian Bilello. “With prejudice and hate crimes on the rise, we feel it’s important to use our voice to help combat discrimination of any kind and we are proud to partner with Chelsea to help promote equality and tolerance.”
The march is designed to contrast starkly with the death marches that occurred towards the end of the war. Since its inception in 1988, more than 260,000 individuals from 52 countries have marched down the same three-kilometer path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom of the Holocaust).
Just days after the march, Chelsea and the Revolution will meet again in Foxborough to compete in the charity match, the “Final Whistle on Hate,” which will be played on Wednesday, May 15. All proceeds will go towards raising funds for projects promoting equality and tolerance. The match’s primary beneficiaries will include the World Jewish Congress, the Tree of Life synagogue, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Holocaust Educational Trust. Representatives from these and other anti-discrimination organizations will be invited to attend the game, while ownership of each team will also donate $1 million in support of the cause.