Despite the ongoing World Cup in Brazil, Chelsea have apparently been hard at work with their summer plans. This time, though, it's not a transfer story, but the announcement of some pre-season friendlies. The twist? They'll be played for charity. Last month, 301 people were killed and many more were injured in a mine disaster in Turkey. It seems that Chelsea will be using their prominence in the football world to assist those affected by participating in an August friendly tournament in Turkey alongside Turkish sides Fenerbahce and Besiktas.
I can't personally speak for Cihan News Agency's reliability, but the Internet tells me they probably are pretty reliable. They've also run with some quotes from British ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore:
"We express our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the mine disaster in Soma. I am happy to announce that one of the most important football clubs in the world [Chelsea] will come to Turkey and play in a charity tournament in support of the families of the Soma mining disaster in August."
Turkey isn't exactly a place we get to a lot, so there's no real risk of over-saturation leading to low attendances or anything, especially with popular clubs like Fenerbahce and Besiktas innvolved. That means our presence, in addition to getting out squad ready for the season, will probably do a lot of good to help those affected by this terrible disaster.
As for the when, considering our season begins on the 16th of August away to Burnley, our last currently-scheduled friendly is against Werder Bremen on the 3rd of August, so there should be plenty of time to fit in a two-match friendly tournament. I, for one, am glad we're taking the time out to participate. Chelsea are so often cast as enemies of football, along with their manager, who, incidentally, has been doing some charity work of his own recently. That reputation for "evil", sadly, tends to outstrip the real story of Chelsea Football Club, which includes quite a lot of really good work.