Chelsea will look to install a brand new banner for its Israeli supporters group ahead of their Carabao Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday, according to reports.
The original banner featured elements of the Israeli flag – including the Jewish Star of David – and the club were pressed to instruct the group to take it down after the Premier League issued a ban on the flags of both Israel and Palestine inside their grounds.
Amidst roiling conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, a number of supporters have flouted the ban with Israeli and Palestinian flags displayed in the stands at ties featuring clubs such as Liverpool and Tottenham.
As per Mail Sport, Chelsea offered to redesign and pay for a temporary banner, but the group also asked for the Star of David to be included – a recognized symbol of Judaism.
According to Telegraph Sport, Chelsea are insistent that the guidelines – which also applies to items that are implicitly pro-Israel or pro-Palestine – took the matter out of their hands.
The new banner will feature the words ‘Chelsea Israeli Supporters Club’ and the club’s lion crest, and has been paid for by the club itself.
The supporters group secretary Yarin Levi praised the club’s swift response, sharing: ‘We’re really happy that our banner should be back up in time for the Blackburn game.
‘Whilst we’re disappointed that the Premier League guidance included not having the Star of David, we’re grateful for all the help Chelsea FC have offered during this awful time.
‘We’re pleased that we will continue to be represented in the stadium, at the club we love, and we believe that the presence of our banner is important for Jewish and Israeli Chelsea fans worldwide.
‘We look forward to the Premier League guidance being lifted, and our original banner being back in place.’
Levi previously described the decision to remove the flag as ‘anti-Semitic’, and hit out at the Premier League itself.
‘The Premier League says there is no room for racism unless you are Jewish,’ Levi said. ‘It’s super offensive. The Star of David is really part of our identity and it has caused a lot of upset and anger in the group.’
The position of the banner sees it sit cheek-by-jowl with a banner for a Pakistan supporters group, which includes the Islamic symbol of the crescent and star.
Arsenal supporters group Jewish Gooners also display a banner inside the Emirates which includes the Star of David symbol, but this is yet to be removed by the club in response to Premier League guidelines.