Chelsea to replace bans for racist fans with educational trips to Auschwitz
The move by the club is believed to have been conceived with the intention to educate rather than punish
Chelsea are looking into the possibility of bringing an end to bans for fans found guilty of racist chanting and behaviour, and will instead look to educate them with trips to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The plans relates back to a match between Chelsea and Leicester City last season, during which a portion of the Blues support was heard singing anti-Semitic chants about Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham have historically attracted fans of Jewish heritage, and many of the club's fans call themselves the Yid Army, a term which itself has been a bone of contention among the Jewish community.
While the club have previously issued banning orders to supporters found guilty of racism, this new initiative will see the fans found guilty of anti-Semitism offered educational trips to Auschwitz or risk losing their tickets.
"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," said club chairman Bruce Buck.
"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's fanbase has been marred by several high-profile racist incidents in recent years. In 2015, four of the club's supporters were handed five year bans after video showed them pushing Frenchman Souleymane Sylla out of a Paris Metro train while singing "We're racist, we're racist, and that's the way we like it".
In 2017, the same four men were convicted for their role in the incident, and were ordered to pay €10,000 in compensation.