I am delighted Chelsea Football Club is in Boston today for this special match and I am grateful to the Kraft family and the New England Revolution for hosting us at the world-famous Gillette Stadium.
Whether it is his six Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots or five Eastern Conference championships and Lamar Hunt US Open Cup trophy, no one will ever underestimate Robert Kraft’s commitment to his teams’ success.
Since I first came to Chelsea in 2003, I am proud that we have won 15 major trophies including the Premier League five times and the Champions League. But while people know us for our teams and our clubs on the pitch, sport is about far more than trophies. It is about ensuring our organizations play a positive role in all our communities.
It has always been important to me to create a club that is welcoming to everyone – we actively celebrate our cultural and religious diversity. Through the work of the Chelsea Foundation, we have always been committed to delivering programmes that promote equality and tackle discrimination all over the world.
However, we are all too often reminded there is more to be done. The Holocaust was a crime without parallel in history. We must never forget such atrocities and must do our utmost to prevent this from ever happening again. And yet, around the world we are seeing a rise in instances of antisemitism.
That is why we launched our award-winning ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign which has sought to tackle antisemitism in all its forms through education and contributions to vital projects such as the Imperial War Museum London’s new Holocaust gallery. I am grateful to Chelsea fans and everyone who has supported us on this journey. With your help we have been able to take a leading role in this vital area of work and demonstrate to everybody that we are a club open to all.
Today’s match is the next step in our campaign, raising money and awareness for initiatives that tackle discrimination, persecution and hatred, with a focus on antisemitism. The two teams unite in a common belief that football has the power and responsibility to tackle some of the world’s biggest issues. I hope that you will join us in our battle against antisemitism.