By Emmanuel Adeleke
Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, has been sanctioned by the UK Government on Thursday, as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich is one of the seven oligarchs to be hit with fresh sanctions, such as freezing of assets and travel bans.
The list also include Russian billionaires, Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska, both seen as allies of Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Speaking on the sanctions, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “There can be no safe havens for those who have supported the invasion.
“Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.”
The government had come under pressure to sanction Abramovich, who said he had made the “difficult decision to sell Chelsea Football Club” earlier this month.
Chelsea has been seized from Abramovich as part of the decision to freeze his assets and the sale of the club is now on hold.
The government says it will issue a special licence that will allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches.
“Season ticket holders can still attend games they have tickets for but club cannot now sell any more tickets that haven’t been sold already. The merchandise shop will be closed,” the government said.
Abramovich, 55, is said to have strong ties to Putin, a claim he has since denied.