Chelsea want to play FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough behind closed doors since they can’t sell tickets… Coach Thomas Tuchel questions UK govt

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The embattled Chelsea football club wants to play the FA Cup quarter-final game against Middlesbrough behind closed doors since they can not sell match tickets.

Since Thursday, March 10, 2022, the government of the United Kingdom has stopped Chelsea from selling match tickets and merchandise. The club is now operating on a special license since the UK government has sanctioned the club’s owner Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich’s sanction means that he is no longer in control of the club and every other asset he has in the UK has been frozen. Chelsea had to be given a special license to permit the club to honor their season’s schedule and season match ticket holders.

The UK had to sanction Abramovich because of his ties with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin who ordered the invasion of Ukraine which has been going on since February 24.

Since it is now clear that Chelsea would not be able to sell tickets for the FA Cup quarter-final game against Middlesbrough on Saturday, March 19, Chelsea want to play behind closed doors so that they will not be disadvantaged during the game.

Ahead of the UK’s sanctions, Chelsea was expected to sell 4,600 tickets to their fans for the FA Cup quarter-final match but the club was able to sell between 500 and 600 tickets before the club was sanctioned.

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The Premier League club believes that it would not be fair for them to face Middlesbrough which knocked out Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur from the FA Cup this season with little or no away supporters.

A statement on Chelsea’s website read: “It is important for the competition that the match against Middlesbrough goes ahead, however, it is with extreme reluctance that we are asking the FA board to direct that the game be played behind closed doors for matters of sporting integrity.

“Chelsea FC recognizes that such an outcome would have a huge impact on Middlesbrough and its supporters, as well as our fans who have already bought the limited number of tickets that were sold before the license was imposed, but we believe this is the fairest way of proceeding in the current circumstances.”

FA to meet over the request from Chelsea on Wednesday, March 16

A statement from the FA in reaction to Chelsea’s request to play the FA Cup quarter-final round against Middlesbrough behind closed doors, announce that the FA would meet on Wednesday, March 16 to deliberate on the request.

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The statement read: “We are aware of Chelsea FC’s request to play their Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final tie against Middlesbrough FC behind closed doors. The matter will be discussed at the Professional Game Board meeting tomorrow [Weds].”

Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel questions the UK government

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel questions the UK government
Coach Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea.

Since the government of the United Kingdom sanctioned the owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, the fans of the club have not ceased to chant his name during games.

Abramovich who became the owner of Chelsea in 2003, has invested so much into the club that within 19 years, the club has won everything in club football. Hence, most fans of the club are not happy to see him lose the club because of his ties with President Putin.

Despite the criticism against the Russian billionaire in connection with the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, some of the club’s fans have continued to stand in solidarity with Abramovich.

Due to that, the UK government is said to be planning to take actions against the club’s fans if they don’t stop chanting the Russian billionaire’s name, a development Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel does not like.

“I just heard about it some minutes ago. I don’t know if, in these times, it is the most important discussion to have in Parliament”, coach Tuchel said.

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“I don’t know if fan chants being discussed in Parliament means that we have to worry about the priorities of this government.

“But OK. Listen, no need to comment from me. We have really far more urgent things to discuss and handle.

“There are restrictions and we have to deal with it. There are adjustments in the amount of staff, who is traveling, how many rooms we have in hotels, and how we arrive at matches.”

Chelsea’s next game is the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash against Lille. Chelsea are expected to be in France for the game that has been scheduled to kick off at 21:00 on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

After that, Chelsea will travel back to England to take on Middlesbrough in the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup on March 19, 2022. The match is scheduled to kick off at 18:15.

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