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Chelsea and New England Revolution officials to attend March of the Living

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Chelsea will continue their campaign against antisemitism by sending a delegation to participate in the annual March of the Living in Poland next month, along with Major League Soccer team New England Revolution.

The event on May 2 is expected to see as many as 100,000 people marching from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest World War II concentration camp complex, and Chelsea officials including director Eugene Tenenbaum, CEO Guy Laurence and former manager Avram Grant will be present.

It is the second year that Chelsea have participated and this time they will be joined by officials from New England Revolution, as the two clubs prepare to meet in a friendly in Foxborough, Massachusetts on May 15 entitled "The Final Whistle on Hate."

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and Revolution owner Robert Kraft will not attend the march, but both have pledged to donate $1 million (£767,000) to the fight against antisemitism around the world.

"Chelsea is honoured to participate in the March of the Living for the second year in a row," Tenenbaum said.

"We started this initiative to raise awareness of and tackle antisemitism 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."

Abramovich, who obtained Israeli citizenship last year, personally launched Chelsea's "Say No To Antisemitism" campaign with a rare column in the club's matchday programme in January 2018.

Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro was invited to Cobham to address the Chelsea first-team squad that same month, and the club followed up their participation in last year's March of the Living with an official visit, consisting of 150 supporters and club officials, to Auschwitz concentration camp in June.

Chelsea's strong stance against antisemitism has at times brought them into conflict with a minority of their own supporters.

UEFA opened a disciplinary investigation into the club in December after fans were alleged to have used antisemitic language in a chant about rivals Tottenham during a Europa League group stage match against Vidi in Hungary, though no action was ultimately taken.

Metropolitan Police also arrested a 23-year-old man for allegedly using antisemitic language prior to Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to Spurs in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal tie in January.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have announced they will face Barcelona in the second of two preseason friendlies in Japan in July.

Last month Chelsea confirmed they will take on J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale at the International Stadium in Yokohama on July 19, and the match against Barcelona is scheduled to follow on July 23 at the Saitama Stadium.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Chelsea also plan to hold a training camp in Europe as part of their preparations for the 2019-20 season.

It will be Chelsea's first visit to Japan since losing the Club World Cup final to Brazilian giants Corinthians at the same stadium in Yokohama in 2012.

The preseason trip was arranged in conjunction with principal commercial partner Yokohama, who have been Chelsea's primary shirt sponsor since agreeing a five-year deal worth around £40 million per year in 2015.


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