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Tuchel: Ukraine applause 'not the moment' for Abramovich chants

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has condemned Chelsea fans' chants of support for Roman Abramovich during applause for Ukraine.

Tuchel: Ukraine applause 'not the moment' for Abramovich chants
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Thomas Tuchel believes it was inappropriate for Chelsea fans to chant Roman Abramovich's name during a show of solidarity with Ukraine prior to Saturday's 4-0 win at Burnley.

A Kai Havertz double and goals from Reece James and Christian Pulisic gave the Blues a comfortable Premier League victory at Turf Moor, but the pre-match applause for the victims of the war in Ukraine was overshadowed by visiting supporters chanting the name of Chelsea's Russian owner.

Abramovich this week announced he has put the club up for sale after the billionaire – like other high-profile Russian individuals and entities – was touted as a potential target for British government sanctions, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Tuchel unimpressed with fans

Tuchel was not impressed with the timing of the supporters' chants after the win, reiterating his solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

"It's not the moment to do this [chant Abramovich's name]," the 48-year-old said.

"Listen, if we show solidarity, we show solidarity, and we should do it together. 

"We take the knee together and if an important person from our club or another club unfortunately dies, we show a minute of respect. It's not the moment to give other messages. It's the moment to show respect.

"We do this because this is what we are also as a club. We show respect as a club and we need our fans to commit to this minute of applause. 

"At this moment, we do it for Ukraine and there is no second opinion about the situation there. They have our thoughts and our support.

"We should stand together as a club. It's not the moment for other messages."

The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach was also asked whether it had been possible for his players to ignore the off-pitch controversy surrounding the club.

Off field activity not affecting players

He insisted debates over Chelsea's ownership had not impacted their performances.

"It is possible [to ignore the speculation], because we do it," he continued.

"We had a brilliant match at Wembley [the EFL Cup final loss to Liverpool], then we were at Luton [in the FA Cup] and were twice behind but turned it around, three days later we arrive at Burnley and you know what's waiting.

"Again, we stepped up. So, it shows a lot of character."

Three wins on the bounce for Chelsea

Tuchel's team have now won three consecutive Premier League matches, the same amount of victories they managed in their previous 11, during which they drew six and lost two.

Despite the speculation surrounding the future of the club, Chelsea's win over Burnley was the biggest by an away team in a Premier League match that had been goalless at half-time since Tottenham won 4-0 at Aston Villa in December 2012.


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