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Britain has imposed a travel ban and asset freezes on seven more wealthy Russians, including Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Premier League soccer club Chelsea.
The government said Thursday that Abramovich’s assets are frozen, he is banned from visiting the UK and he is barred from transactions with UK individuals and businesses.
Abramovich said last week he was trying to sell Chelsea as the threat of sanctions loomed.
Also added to the UK sanctions list are industrialist Oleg Deripaska and Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin.
The sanctions are being imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Sanctions on Abramovich see restrictions placed on Chelsea
Unpreceded restrictions were placed on Chelsea’s ability to operate by the British government on Thursday after owner Roman Abramovich was targeted in sanctions.
Abramovich was among seven wealthy Russians who had their assets frozen by the government. It freezes his ability to sell Chelsea which was announced last week after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The government has issued what it calls a “special license” to ensure Chelsea can continue to play games and staff can be paid. But the club won’t be able to sell new tickets to any fans or sell merchandise.
It is about “depriving Abramovich of benefiting from his ownership of the club,” Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries tweeted.
“I know this brings some uncertainty, but the Government will work with the league & clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended. Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We’re committed to protecting them.”