Portugal approve Abramovich’s sale of Chelsea

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The Portuguese government has given clearance for the sale of Chelsea by Roman Abramovich, who needed approval because he holds a Portuguese passport.

Portugal’s move was announced on Thursday, a day after the UK government approved the sanctioned Russian oligarch’s sale of Chelsea to a consortium led by a Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner.

Portugal’s rubber stamp was also needed for the deal worth 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) – the highest price ever for a sports team – to go through.

“The two competent national authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, have given the green light to the request received from Roman Abramovich for a humanitarian derogation, allowing the transaction of the English club,” the Portuguese government said in a statement. communicated. .

The Lisbon government said its support for the sale was based on “the guarantee given by the British authorities that the proceeds of the sale will be used for humanitarian purposes, not directly or indirectly benefiting the owner of the club, who falls under the ‘European Union”. penalty list.

He added that his position had received the support of the European Commission.


Abramovich obtained Portuguese nationality in 2021 thanks to a law that proposed to naturalize the descendants of Sephardic Jews forced to leave the Iberian Peninsula centuries before.

Abramovich has been sanctioned by British and European authorities over his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine. The British and Portuguese authorities had to make sure that the oligarch would not profit from the forced sale of the club.

Abramovich’s assets were frozen in March and Chelsea are operating under a UK government license, which expires on Tuesday.

Abramovich has been without a UK visa since 2018. Since then, he has also been granted Israeli citizenship.

The Premier League approved the sale of the 2021 European champions on Tuesday.

The London-based club’s buyers are led by Todd Boehly. In addition to co-ownership of the Dodgers, Boehly also owns minority stakes in the WNBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Sparks.

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