UK sanctions Chelsea boss Abramovich and six other Russian oligarchs over Ukraine invasion

Speculation has swirled for weeks about whether Roman Abramovich would be targeted with sanctions. [Getty]
The UK government slapped sanctions and a travel ban on Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich as part of new UK government sanctions targeting seven Russian oligarchs.

Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich was hit with an assets freeze and a travel ban on Thursday as part of new UK government sanctions targeting seven Russian oligarchs as the invasion of Ukraine continues.

Among others sanctioned are leading industrialist Oleg Deripaska, Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin and Gazprom head Alexei Miller, the government announced.

Speculation has swirled for weeks about whether Abramovich would be included in the targeted action against Russian billionaires perceived to be close to the Kremlin.

Abramovich announced last week that he was selling Chelsea, after buying the English Premier League side in 2003, and bankrolled its successes at domestic and European level.

The UK government estimated his net worth at £9.4 billion ($12.2 billion), but said it was mitigating the effect of the sanctions on Chelsea by allowing the club to continue to operate.

A special licence “authorises a number of football-related activities”, the government said in a statement.

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