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Ukraine Invasion: Chelsea football club and owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK Government

Ukraine Invasion: Chelsea football club and owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK Government

Chelsea’s billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government as punishment for its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich is one of seven Russian oligarchs including billionaires Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska to be hit with fresh sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans.

They are all seen as allies of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

 

According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, March 10, “there can be no safe havens” for those who have supported the invasion.

The new sanctions by the UK government say Chelsea cannot sell any more tickets for games, its merchandise shop will be closed, and it will be unable to buy or sell players on the transfer market.

The government said it would issue a special licence that allows fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches.

The football club is among the assets frozen as part of the sanctions against Abramovich and its sale has now been stalled.

Reports say the UK government would consider allowing Abramovich to apply for a special licence to sell the club, providing he can prove he would not benefit from the sale.

The government says Abramovich, who has an estimated net worth of £9.4bn, is “one of the few oligarchs from the 1990s to maintain prominence under Putin”.

Abramovich has stakes in steel giant Evraz and Norilsk Nickel. He sold a 73% stake in Russian oil firm Sibneft to state-owned gas titan Gazprom for £9.87bn in 2005.

 

He owns a number of properties in the UK, including a 15-bedroom mansion at Kensington Palace Gardens in west London, reportedly valued at more than £150m.

 

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