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UK sanctions Russian owner of soccer power Chelsea

Soccer Chelsea Roman Abramovich
Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 10:54:39-05

LONDON — Britain has imposed a travel ban and asset freezes on seven more wealthy Russians, including Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Premier League soccer club Chelsea.

The government said Thursday that Abramovich’s assets are frozen, he is banned from visiting the U.K. and he is barred from transactions with U.K. individuals and businesses.

"These sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s response to Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion, designed to ensure he fails in Ukraine by crippling Russia’s economy supporting his war machine," Downing Street said in a press release Thursday.

The U.K. added that Chelsea will be given a special license to "fulfil its fixtures and carry out football business." However, the club will not be permitted to sign or sell players or sell additional tickets while Abramovich owns the team.

Abramovich said last week he was trying to sell Chelsea as the threat of sanctions loomed.

"I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart," Abramovich said in a statement. "In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners."

According to Forbes, the club is valued at $3.2 billion.

Also added to the U.K. sanctions list Thursday are industrialist Oleg Deripaska and Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin.