LOSC is not yet certain of being able to face Chelsea on Wednesday evening in the knockout stages of the Champions League. According to information from L’Equipe, the sanctions taken against Roman Abramovich, still owner of the Blues, could indeed call into question the holding of the meeting. This Tuesday, the European Union decided to sanction new Russian oligarchs, including the boss of the English club, in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These measures are part of a fourth set of European sanctions against Moscow which was approved on Monday afternoon by the ambassadors of the 27 member states in Brussels.
Before its extension, 862 individuals and 53 Russian entities appeared on this blacklist which prohibits entry into EU territory and authorizes the freezing of the assets of the persons and companies concerned. Abramovich, close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already been sanctioned by the United Kingdom. So why is the match between Lille and Chelsa threatened? As L’Equipe recalls, Article 2 of the European Council Regulation states that “all funds and economic resources belonging to natural persons, entities or bodies associated with them are frozen“, and that no “funds or economic resources are not placed, directly or indirectly, at the disposal of natural persons (…) entities or bodies associated with them (…) nor released for their benefit“.
For sale, will Chelsea once again become a club like the others?
Chelsea, which is still owned by Abramovich, could therefore be directly hit by the new sanctions concerning its owner. In the UK, the Blues were given a government license to continue to operate. He would therefore need an exception of this type to allow the London club to play his match in France, a member of the EU, on Wednesday. It could be granted if necessary by the French authorities.
Contacted by RMC Sport, UEFA however assured that the match would take place. The match against Lille would indeed have been budgeted by Chelsea before the sanctions fell against Abramovich. However, if the Blues were to qualify, the question of their retention in the competition could again resurface.