The New England Revolution will host Chelsea at Gillette Stadium May 15 for a friendly now being marketed as a “Final Whistle On Hate.”
The charity match is meant to combat anti-Semitism, with all profits from the game slated to go to a number of charities and organizations that raise awareness on and fight hate crimes. Both New England owner Robert Kraft and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich are Jewish. The two clubs released a joint video on Monday that featured players and coaches from each team and highlighted a worldwide increase in hate crimes.
All match proceeds will be donated to initiatives dedicated to combating antisemitism and promoting equality and tolerance.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 4, 2019
The match’s primary beneficiaries include the World Jewish Congress, the Tree of Life synagogue, the Anti-Defamation League and the Holocaust Educational Trust. Representatives from each of the organizations will likely attend the game, while Abramovich and Kraft will also each donate $1 million in support of the cause.
Abramovich has already been engaged in a years-long effort to root out instances of supporters making anti-Semitic or other hateful remarks and gestures at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea play.
Logistically, this game will be tricky for both clubs.
For New England, it comes just two days before an Eastern Conference clash against the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo and four days after a home game against the San Jose Quakes.
Meanwhile, Chelsea will visit Foxborough, Mass., just two full days after concluding the 2018/19 Premier League season at Leicester City.
On such short rest, both clubs will likely keep a number of their starters from taking the field or playing significant minutes.