Chelsea Receive Huge Backlash Over Statement About 'Ukraine Conflict'
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Chelsea have come in for lots of criticism, after their very short statement about the invasion of Ukraine failed to mention 'Russia.'
Earlier in the week there were calls from British MPs to seize the ownership of the club from Roman Abramovich, as a sanction following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
On Saturday it was announced that he had handed over the 'stewardship and care' of the club to trustees of the club's charitable foundation, however he remains as the owner, questioning how much the action even means.
On Sunday the club then came out with a statement about Ukraine, but it completely missed the mark, not mentioning the words 'war' or 'invasion,' instead just calling it a situation.
"The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating. Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace," the statement read.
Club statement on the conflict in Ukraine.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 27, 2022
Unsurprisingly, the statement hasn't gone down well at all, with fans calling on the club to actually condemn the actions of Russia.
Hi, I must have missed the word "Russia" in your statement. Could you please help me understand who is this "conflict" in Ukraine with?— Jakub Krupa (@JakubKrupa) February 27, 2022
We need to see a statement from Abramovich condemning Putin. Otherwise anything else means nothing. We should assume he backs Putin unless he says otherwise. Silence means he is with Putin— Adam Brown (@AdamBro29683783) February 27, 2022
That echoes Russian government messaging not talking about war or invasion. Also no mention of Russia, or the Russian government being the aggressors. Clear which side Chelsea FC is on. We see you... 👀— J B 🇺🇦 (@jonny_b69) February 27, 2022
“Club statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine”— James #3.5% #FBPA #FBPE (@semajmrx) February 27, 2022
Fixed it for you.
I think you mean the invasion of Ukraine. Cowards— Levison Wood (@Levisonwood) February 27, 2022
Failed to mention Russia 🤔— arteta’s tricky reds 🔴⚪️ (@MaxAdrianS) February 27, 2022
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich still the Chelsea owner and the transfer of ‘care and stewardship’ does not mean that will change. pic.twitter.com/b0BJ0J3CYZ— David Conn (@david_conn) February 27, 2022
Labour MP Chris Bryant, who was the first member of parliament to speak out against Abramovich last week, has said that the 55-year-old's actions to hand over the 'stewardship' have not gone far enough.
Posting on Twitter, the MP for Rhondda, Wales, he said, "I’m worried that the British press (with some notable exceptions) have fallen for the Abramovich line on ceding control.
"Unless and until he condemns the criminal invasion of Ukraine I will continue to call for the UK to sanction him and seize/freeze assets."
The Blues are set to face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup on Sunday at Wembley and could probably have done without the distractions that their current situation have provided.