Russia invasion of Ukraine
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has insisted he ‘understands’ criticism directed at the Premier League club in response to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier in the week, Labour MP Chris Bryant had urged the UK government to seize Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s assets.
Mr. Abramovich is one of Russia’s richest people and is believed to have close with President Putin.
The Russian military began their invasion in eastern Europe on Thursday and Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, said on Friday evening that the Russians would storm the capital, Kyiv, in the coming hours.
Tuchel’s response on Russia invasion of Ukraine
Chelsea boss Tuchel, who is preparing for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley, said: ‘We shouldn’t pretend this is not an issue. The situation for everyone here is horrible.
‘Nobody expected this, it’s pretty unreal. It’s clouding our minds and our excitement towards the final.
‘It brings huge uncertainty, much more to all people in the moment more involved than us. We send our best wishes and regards to them, obviously.
‘Still there are so many uncertainties around the situation of our club, in the UK with scenarios like this, that it makes no sense if I comment on it.
‘We’re aware of it, we haven’t got so much insight or inside information than you might think, and in the very end, I think it’s also the right from the team and staff to be not political, to focus on sports. Not because we are hiding, but the situation is clear, it’s horrible, no doubt about it.
‘I’d love to take my right not to comment on it until there is a decision made. It’s distracting us, it’s worrying us, to a certain degree I can understand it, I can understand the critical opinions towards the club and us who represent it. We cannot fully free ourselves from it.
‘But maybe people can understand me as the coach, and players as players, we don’t have the insight what is going on and how much the owner is involved in all this – we don’t feel responsible for what’s going on, it’s horrible and there can’t be a doubt about it, war in Europe is unthinkable for me for a long period of time.
‘Let’s wait, the impact is clear, and the discussions have an impact, but let’s be a bit more patient and understand what the measurements will be and then maybe we’ll deal with it.’
Asked if he agrees with UEFA’s decision, Tuchel said: ‘Yes, and sadly it’s the worst reason to change a location. Absolutely the worst.
‘The last two times it was because of corona and that was not good, and now we have even worse news.’