The British government said on Monday it was “inappropriate” for Chelsea fans to chant the name of the club’s millionaire owner Roman Abramovich, who has been sanctioned for his alleged closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On March 5, Chelsea fans chanted Abramovich’s name during a minute of clapping in solidarity with Ukraine before the match against Burnley in the 28th round of the Premier League.
Blues coach Thomas Tuchel rejected the fans’ attitude at the end of the match.
“It was not the right time to do this,” the coach criticized. “If we want to show our solidarity, we show our solidarity and we do it together,” he added.
Fans have repeated this behavior in every Chelsea game since, against Norwich and Newcastle.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are fully aware of the sentiment around a famous club, but that is no excuse for a completely inappropriate situation at the moment.”
“I think people can express their passion and support without resorting to this kind of thing,” Johnson added.
Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and turned the club into one of the biggest teams in Europe, winning 19 titles after investing hundreds of millions of pounds, making him a very popular figure among the fans.
Sanctions against the Russian millionaire, such as freezing his assets, affected the club with the loss of sponsors and a ban on ticket sales and player trading.
jw-hap / iga / mcd / cb
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