Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack said he has ordered Chelsea fans to stop completely the chanting of owner Roman Abramovich’s name during games.
Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government as part of response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian billionaire has brought unprecedented success to Chelsea since he bought the club back in 2003.
But he’s now one of the seven oligarchs to be hit with fresh sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans.
The list also includes billionaires Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska, both seen as allies of Vladimir Putin.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “there can be no safe havens” for those who have supported the invasion.
Abramovich’s assets were frozen by the government, with Chelsea placed under a special licence that allows the club to operate but is unable to generate new income.
Chelsea supporters during Sunday’s Premier League 1-0 win over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge expressed their backing for Abramovich.
However, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman insists Chelsea supporters should not let that blind them to Abramovich’s association to Putin who is leading the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We recognize the strength of feeling around people’s clubs, but that doesn’t excuse behaviour which is completely inappropriate at this time,” Slack said.
“I think people can show passion and support for their club without resorting to that sort of stuff.
“We are open to the sale of the club, we would consider an application for a licence to allow that to happen in the right circumstances.
“But it’s for Chelsea to determine the exact process. My understanding is potential buyers would approach the club, who would then need to apply for a further amended licence to facilitate the sale.
“As far as I am aware, that has not happened at this point.”