The New England Revolution and Chelsea FC soccer teams played a friendly match on Wednesday titled the “Final Whistle on Hate,” raising awareness on anti-semitism and hate crimes worldwide. A statement on Chelsea’s website said the game had raised $4 million for charities.
According to CNN, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich flew to Boston to watch his team defeat the New England Revolution. Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Revolution and New England Patriots NFL team, had joined forces with Chelsea’s Russian tycoon owner Roman Abramovich to arrange the match. Both, Roman Abramovich and Robert Kraft donated USD 1 million towards the charity fund, while they watched the game at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Kraft told the CNN, “We chatted about mutual interests and using sport to build bridges and what has gone in the area of anti-Semitism has been very disturbing for both of us. When we saw this event happen in Pittsburgh we mutually wanted to do something to show our respect and concern and so it was really magnanimous of him (Abramovich) to bring his team here, especially when they are still competing for the Europa League and fly over here for seven hours.”
Around 25,000 people attended the game, which was organised soon after last October’s attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people. England international Ross Barkley scored twice as Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 victory over the New England Revolution in a charity friendly at Foxborough. Wednesday’s game, which took place just three days after Chelsea concluded their Premier League campaign, was billed as the “Final Whistle On Hate” with funds raised going to organisations who combat hate crimes.