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Soccer

Russia invasion of Ukraine | Tuchel says Abramovich situation is 'distracting' for Chelsea

Chelsea could be impacted by UK government sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Update:
Russia invasion of Ukraine | Tuchel says Abramovich situation is 'distracting' for Chelsea
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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admits that potential government sanctions for club owner Roman Abramovich are "distracting and worrying" for him and his players.

Abramovich was named in parliament on Thursday as the UK government considers sanctions after Russia's invasion of Ukraine which may impact the Blues.

Abramovich ties to Russian state

Labour MP Chris Bryant informed parliament from a leaked 2019 Home Office document that Abramovich had been identified for having links with the Russian state.

The 55-year-old Russian has owned Chelsea since 2003 and invested vast amounts into the European champions with Tuchel admitting the situation had left his mind "clouded".

"We should not pretend that this is not an issue and I agree,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of Sunday's EFL Cup final with Liverpool. “The situation in general, for me and for my staff and for everybody here at the Cobham, for the players, is horrible. Nobody expected this.

“It’s pretty unreal, it’s clouding our minds, it’s clouding excitement towards the final and it brings huge uncertainty. Much more to all people and families who are actually more involved than us. And our best wishes and our regards and thoughts are obviously with them.

“Still, there are so many uncertainties around the situation of our club and of the situation in the UK with scenarios like this that it makes no sense if I comment on it."

The Home Office document linked Abramovich to "corrupt activity and practices" with the Russian state, which he has vehemently disputed along with reports he has a close relationship with Vladimir Putin.

“I am aware of all these scenarios and I am aware of all these discussions at the moment,” Tuchel said. “I would love to take my right not to comment on this until there is a decision made. But we are aware of it and it’s distracting us, it’s worrying us.

"To a certain degree I can understand the opinions and the critical opinions towards the club, towards us who represent that club. I can understand that and we cannot fully free ourselves from it.

“Maybe people understand that me as a coach or the players, we don’t have the insight what is really going on. At the moment we don’t feel responsible for all this. We feel that it is horrible and there can be no doubt about it.

"War in Europe was unthinkable for me for a long period. The impact is clear and the discussions have an impact. Let’s be a bit more patient and understand what the measurements will be and then we have to maybe deal with it.”

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