Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been ‘effectively barred from living in Britain ever again’ according to The Sun. The Russian has now kept himself away from Stamford Bridge for several months. He was also absent from the Bridge when Chelsea showed off their Club World Cup trophy to the home fans. The trophy was the only one missing in Abramovic’s reign and still he didn’t join the celebrations.
Being one of the oligarchs of Russian president Vladimir Putin, Abramovic reportedly knows he is a deliberate target. Moreover, the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine are also responsible for Abramovich’s banning. Almost every European nation, including Britain, opposes Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine. Abramovic also withdrew his application for a British Tier 1 investor visa in 2018, after it was deliberately delayed. After he withdrew his visa application in 2018, Abramovich gained Israel’s citizenship. On the basis of his Israeli passport, the Chelsea owner visited Britain.
The Chelsea owner barred from living in the UK
Abramovich owns a mansion worth €150 million near Kensington Palace where he stays whenever in England. Last October with the help of his Israeli passport the Chelsea owner made a short trip to London. However, The Sun reports that not only Abramovich, any of oligarchs’ application for a permanent visa would now be ‘almost certainly rejected’. Things could become more difficult for Roman since Britain’s Home Office’s ‘Special Cases Unit’ is looking into his case.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has alleged Abramovich as one of the ‘key enablers’ of ‘kleptocracy’ run by Vladimir Putin. However, the Chelsea owner repeatedly denies close connections to Putin or the Kremlin. Britain wants to sanction anybody and everybody who plays part in Putin’s plan to invade Ukraine. Abramovich is also under the radar and could face heavy sanctions. Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has declared that the country will do everything possible to inflict “pain on Putin”. As a result, Britain could target aides of the Russian president too. “Should Russia refuse to pull back its troops, we can keep turning up the heat, targeting more banks, elites, and companies of significance. This is about inflicting pain on Putin and degrading the Russian economic system over time, targeting people that are close to Putin. What we have to do is make it as painful as possible,” said Truss.
UEFA consider shifting Champions League final
Furthermore, UEFA is also seriously considering shifting this year’s Champions League final venue from Saint Petersburg, Russia. With Russia ready to invade another federation country from the UEFA, the top councils think it best not to conduct the Champions League final in St. Petersburg. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also emphasized, “There is no chance of holding football tournaments in a Russia that invades sovereign countries.”
Europe’s football governing body has also released an official statement on the same confirming a meeting to look deep into the matter. “Following the evolution of the situation between Russia and Ukraine in the last 24 hours, the UEFA president has decided to call an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee in order to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions,” UEFA said in the statement.