The Premier League club explained in a statement that despite engaging in extensive discussions with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, the deadline to purchase away tickets has passed "without appropriate amendments being made to the Government licence, which would allow a full allocation of Chelsea supporters to attend."
In addition to announcing they will not sell tickets for Saturday's game at the Riverside, the Blues confirmed they are requesting the game be played behind closed doors "for matters of sporting integrity."
Here is the statement in full:
"We are disappointed to announce we will not be able to sell tickets for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough.
"Despite engaging in extensive discussions with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the deadline to purchase away tickets has passed without appropriate amendments being made to the Government licence which would allow a full allocation of Chelsea supporters to attend. Executives at Middlesbrough had been kind enough to extend their deadline for ticket sales and stadium allocation from 7.30pm last night until 9.30am this morning.
"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 recognises that such an outcome would have a huge impact on Middlesbrough and its supporters, as well as our own fans who have already bought the limited number of tickets that were sold before the licence was imposed, but we believe this is the fairest way of proceeding in the current circumstances.
"We will continue to discuss the issue of ticket sales with OFSI as there are a number of fixtures still to be played this season and we hope to reach a resolution."
Middlesbrough ticket update.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 15, 2022
Minutes after European champions Chelsea announced they would be requesting the game to be played behind closed doors, The Times reporter Martyn Ziegler confirmed that the FA will refuse their request.
Interestingly, he went on to claim that hundreds of tickets had been sold to Chelsea fans before the ban.
FA will refuse Chelsea’s request to play Boro match behind closed doors. For a start 500-600 tickets had been sold to Chelsea fans before the ban. One interesting thing is why the govt has not responded to Chelsea’s request to give their tickets away for free.— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) March 15, 2022
Chelsea not allowed to sell tickets for Middlesbrough away. Doesn’t bode well for attempts to get non-season ticket-holders and away fans into future home games. Not a good sign for Chelsea Women either, for whom the attendance issue will be even more stark #CFC— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) March 15, 2022
🚨 BREAKING 🚨— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 15, 2022
Chelsea confirm they are unable to sell tickets for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final away to Middlesbrough
Chelsea are requesting the game be played behind closed doors to "for matters of sporting integrity" pic.twitter.com/D9L8IrzGmK
It was announced on Thursday that club owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old has seen all his assets frozen, while Chelsea cannot sell any tickets for their upcoming games.
Season ticket holders will still be allowed to attend games, with 28,000 of those registered,
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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