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Chelsea sanctions "unimportant" compared to Ukraine suffering says coach Tuchel

Soccer club Chelsea is facing major restrictions due to its ownership by Roman Abramovich, who has been targeted over his links to Putin.

Soccer club Chelsea FC is facing major restrictions due to its ownership by Roman Abramovich, who has been targeted over his links to Putin.
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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says turmoil surrounding the club pales in comparison to his concern about events in Ukraine and other war zones.

Chelsea hit by sanctions

The Blues head coach was speaking before reports emerged that Chelsea's bank account has been suspended by Barclays. Sky News said the action was taken to allow the bank time to look at the licence Chelsea have been granted to continue to operate as a football club.

Tuchel expressed gratitude for his "privileged" position as a coach, and affirmed that speaking about Chelsea's hardships makes him feel "uncomfortable".

With owner Roman Abramovich one of several oligarchs hit with sanctions from the United Kingdom government in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Chelsea face restrictive measures affecting ticket and merchandise sales, as well as transfer and contract negotiations.

Chelsea troubles nothing compared

The Blues briefly set their troubles aside to beat Norwich City 3-1 on Thursday, but Tuchel says Chelsea's hardships, though disruptive, do not compare to those faced in Ukraine and elsewhere.

"It is hard to focus only on football," the 48-year-old told Sky Sports. "But as bad and as horrible as the situation is in Ukraine, and the situation that Russia started this war, which is incredible and unacceptable and horrible, there are so many things which are more important than football.

"It was also [this way] before the war Russia started.

"There are children dying, and other wars going in the world that are not so much in the [public] focus, people dying of corona. So, there are so much more, so many more important jobs out there than mine, and it makes me feel uncomfortable.

"There are so many people out there helping in war zones, helping children getting water, getting medication, there are so many more important jobs out there than being a football coach.

"It makes me feel uncomfortable to name it a problem, where we are [within football]. Because we are still very, very privileged, this is how I personally feel."

Chelsea face Newcastle next

With Chelsea preparing to host Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday, looking to defend a nine-match unbeaten home run in the competition, Tuchel says current circumstances mean he intends to saviour every moment in his role.

"Maybe it has never been more true to live in the moment, because everything else seems very, very difficult," Tuchel said.

"To understand the situation feels very difficult, to see where it is going is maybe impossible. So in the end, we stick to the mantra to live in the moment and worship where we are.

"It is not easy, but it is out of our control. Sometimes it makes things more difficult, but sometimes [it is] more easy to accept we cannot do anything in the moment, to wait and to constantly adapt."