By Michael Lewis
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has reached the borders of England, specifically, Chelsea.
The English Premier League club is owned by Russian Roman Abramovich.
He has been suspected of helping Russian president Vladimir Putin in the invasion of Ukraine. Abramovich could be sanctioned by the United Kingdom with the worst possible scenario of him selling the team.
This has not been lost on the team or head coach Thomas Tuchel, who is preparing his squad for Sunday’s League Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley.
U.S. men’s national team standout Christian Pulisic is a member of the Blues’ team.
Tuchel felt the team needed to focus on only one thing – soccer.
“We should not pretend that this is not an issue,” he said at his Friday press conference. “The situation in general, for me and for my staff and for everybody here at Cobham, for the players, is horrible.” Nobody expected this. It’s pretty unreal, it’s clouding our minds, it’s clouding excitement towards the [Carabao Cup] final and it brings huge uncertainty.
“To a certain degree, I can understand it to such a degree the opinions and the critical opinions towards the club, towards us who represent that club. I can understand that and we cannot fully free ourselves from it.
“Maybe people understand that me as a coach or the players, we don’t have the insight what is really going on. At the moment we don’t feel responsible for all this. We feel that it is horrible and there can be no doubt about it. War in Europe was unthinkable for me for a long period.”
“The impact is clear and the discussions have an impact. Let’s be a bit more patient and understand what the measurements will be and then we have to maybe deal with it.”
Earlier this week, Labor MP Chris Bryant called for Abramovich, who has owned the club for 19 years to have him sanctioned and stripped of club ownership.
“Surely Mr. Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country?” Bryant said. “Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets, including his £150 million home, and making sure that other people who have had tier 1 visas like this are not engaged in malign activity in the UK?”