As Chelsea Club seized by UK government may not affect today’s match against Norwich

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He is one of seven oligarchs to be hit with fresh sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans.

The list also includes billionaires Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska, both seen as allies of Vladimir Putin.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “there can be no safe havens” for those who have supported the invasion.

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“Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies,” Mr Johnson said.

The government had come under pressure to sanction Mr Abramovich, who said he had made the “difficult decision” to sell Chelsea FC earlier this month.

Abramovich, 55, is alleged to have strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he has denied.

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

So what does it mean for Chelsea?
The Stamford Bridge side are now effectively in turmoil, with Abramovich having hoped to sell the club before the sanctions were imposed.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has said that Chelsea will be issued with a “special licence” which means all football-related activities, such as Thursday’s clash with Norwich, can go ahead.

However, the club cannot sell tickets for matches, meaning only season ticket holders will be able to attend games in person.

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