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Chelsea made plea for ‘sporting integrity,’ despite oligarch owner being sanctioned after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Despite Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK government for his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine, the club had called for its FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors for “matters of sporting integrity.”

Abramovich’s sanctioning means Chelsea is unable to sell any more away tickets for Saturday’s match due to the restrictions on the club.

“Chelsea FC recognizes that such an outcome would have a huge impact on Middlesbrough and its supporters, as well as our own fans who have already bought the limited number of tickets that were sold before the licence was imposed, but we believe this is the fairest way of proceeding in the current circumstances,” said a club statement Tuesday.

The UK government added Abramovich, who is selling Chelsea and has been disqualified as the club’s director, to its…

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