Chelsea have devised a plan to send fans found guilty of racist and antisemitic offences to Auschwitz for a sobering history lesson.
The initiative is being supported by Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish himself, and will see banning orders replaced and season ticket confiscation with the option of attending educational courses and even tours around the WWII Nazi death camp museum in Poland.
Speaking to The Sun, club chairman Bruce Buck said:
If you just ban people, you will never change their behaviour. This policy gives them the chance to realise what they have done, to make them want to behave better.
In the past we would take them from the crowd and ban them, for up to three years.
Now we say: ‘You did something wrong. You have the option. We can ban you or you can spend some time with our diversity officers, understanding what you did wrong.’
Chelsea have publicly denounced their own supporters for antisemitic chanting, most notably after a game against Tottenham in September of 2017.
Abramovich’s proposal is radical, sure, but as somebody who has been to Auschwitz and done the tour, if it’s not enough to deepen your capacity for tolerance and empathy on a fundamental level, then there really is no hope.