By EzeOgba Godslove A
The UK has added Russian oligarch and Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich to its list of sanctioned individuals as part of its efforts to “isolate” Russian President Vlamidir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
These sanctions are throwing the sale of the London club into doubt and prohibiting the buying or selling of players until further notice.
In a statement Thursday, the UK government said it was adding seven further oligarchs and politicians – including Abramovich – to its list of sanctioned individuals.
The Russian billionaire announced this month he plans to sell Chelsea, as it is “in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.” This came after he declared he gave “stewardship” of the club over to trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.
But the new sanctions will see his assets frozen and will prohibit “transactions with UK individuals and businesses,” the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said in a statement Thursday. The billionaire will also face a travel ban forbidding him to enter the UK.
According to the UK government, Chelsea will be given a special license to continue to “fulfil its fixtures and carry out football business” — including the payment of players and club staff — but certain actions will not be permitted, such as buying and selling new players and selling tickets for games beyond those already sold to fans.
The club released a statement on Thursday regarding the sanctions, saying, “We will fulfil our men’s and women’s team fixtures today against Norwich and West Ham, respectively, and intend to engage in discussions with the UK Government regarding the scope of the licence. This will include seeking permission for the licence to be amended in order to allow the Club to operate as normal as possible.”
The Premier League also released a statement, saying that the “League will now work with the club and the Government to ensure the season will proceed as planned and in line with the Government’s intention.”