Ukraine applause was ‘not the moment’ for Abramovich chants, says Thomas Tuchel


Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea fans should not have sung Roman Abramovich’s name during a solidarity match with Ukraine before Saturday’s 4-0 win over Burnley.

Double Kai Havertz and goals from Reece James and Christian Pulisic gave the Blues a comfortable Premier League victory at Turf Moor, but the pre-match applause of the war victims in Ukraine was overshadowed by visiting fans chanting the name of the Russian Chelsea owner.

Abramovich announced this week that he had sold the club after a millionaire – like other well-respected Russians and entities – was considered a potential victim by the British government, as Russia invaded Ukraine.

Tuchel was not impressed during the supporters’ songs after the victory, reiterating his solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

“This is not the time to do this [Abramovich’s name],” said the 48-year-old.

“Listen, when we show unity, we show unity, and we must do it together.

“We’m kneeling together and when someone important to our team or club dies, unfortunately, we show respect. It’s not the time to give more messages. It’s time to show respect.

“We are doing this because we are a team, we show respect as a team and we need our fans to commit to this moment of applause.

“At the moment, we are doing it for Ukraine and there is no second opinion about the situation there. They have our thoughts and our support.

“We have to come together as a group. It’s not the time for other messages.”

The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach were also asked if it was possible for his players to ignore an off-field dispute around the club.

He emphasized that the dispute over Chelsea’s ownership did not affect their performance.

“It’s possible [to ignore the guess], because we do,” he continued.

“We had a very good game at Wembley [the EFL Cup final defeat by Liverpool], then we were in Luton [in the FA Cup] and we were two times behind but we turned it around, three days later we came to Burnley and you know what to expect.

“And, we went up. So, it shows a lot of character.”

Tuchel’s team has now won three consecutive Premier League games, the same number of wins as they have won in the last 11, when they have drawn six and lost two.

Aside from speculating about the club’s future, Chelsea’s win over Burnley was the biggest away team in a Premier League match that has been goalless since the break since Tottenham’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa in December 2012.

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