It came out in one Message from the English Football Association (FA) on Tuesday evening. The turnaround came hours after Chelsea requested an empty stand at Riverside.
The reason for the request was because the British government refused Chelsea to sell the club’s match tickets. The cessation of sales is part of a sanction against London team owner Roman Abramovich.
– It is important for the FA Cup that matches are played, and it is with great reluctance that we ask for empty stands. But we do it for the integrity of the sport. We believe this is fairest under the prevailing circumstances, said in one statement from Chelsea.
The game made Middlesbrough react hard. Teams from level two in the English league system described Chelsea’s wishes as “weird” and “totally without a clue”.
– Given the backdrop of the sanctions, it is ironic that Chelsea cited integrity as a reason to play the game behind closed doors, write Middlesbrough.
The club think it would be very unfair to punish them and their supporters in a case that does not affect Middlesbrough. Later, Chelsea turned around after talks between the club and the FA.
The English Football Association stated that there are further discussions with Chelsea, the Premier League and the authorities to find a solution that ensures that sanctions are respected without harming fans.
Abramovich’s business in Britain was recently frozen due to Russia’s war against Ukraine.
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