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Football Chelsea fans chant Abramovich’s name during solidarity gesture with Ukraine

FILE PHOTO: Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club, in London
FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen at an entrance to Stamford Bridge, the stadium of Chelsea Football Club, after Russian businessman Roman Abramovich said he would sell Chelsea 19 years after the purchase amid mounting pressure on oligarchs, to Russia to be hit by sanctions against invasion of Ukraine, in London, Britain March 3, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

March 5, 2022

By Simon Evans

BURNLEY, England (Reuters) – Chelsea fans chanted the name of their Russian owner Roman Abramovich during a minute of applause in solidarity with Ukraine on Saturday.

There were gestures of support for Ukraine before kick-off at Premier League matches and Burnley’s stadium displayed the slogan ‘Football Stands Together’ and the Ukrainian flag on a large screen.

Abramovich announced on Wednesday he was putting the club up for sale amid growing calls in Britain that he faces sanctions following Russia’s invasion of his neighbour.

As fans around the stadium, including visiting Chelsea supporters, stood and applauded as the players stood a minute before kick-off, Chelsea fans began chanting their owners’ names and Burnley fans booed in response .

Abramovich took charge of Chelsea in 2003 and his tenure has seen the club’s most successful years.

The Russian has instructed his aides to set up a charitable foundation to benefit “all the victims of the war in Ukraine,” who would receive any net proceeds from sales.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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