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Hesitant Hand: Abramovich Stalls on Releasing £2.3 Billion Ukrainian Aid from Chelsea FC Proceeds

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LONDON, England – The former owner of Chelsea Football Club, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is reportedly refusing to authorize the transfer of £2.3 billion meant for Ukraine, following the sale of the West London-based football club.

The funds were intended to assist victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich was compelled to sell Chelsea in 2022 as a punitive measure by the British government in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

American businessman Todd Boehly’s consortium bought the Stamford Bridge club with the understanding that part of the sale’s proceeds would be directed towards Ukraine.

According to a report by the Daily Mail on Sunday, June 18, 2023, Abramovich’s approval is required before the funds can be disbursed.

However, the Russian tycoon is insisting that Russians impacted by the conflict also benefit from the money.

The report noted that while the British government is open to the possibility of allocating a share of the funds to Russians affected by the war, this new stipulation by Abramovich has complicated matters.

There is now no clear timeline on when, if ever, the pledged funds will reach Ukraine.

This development has added another layer of complexity to the intertwined world of sports, politics, and humanitarian aid.

It underlines the challenges of sanctioning high-profile individuals and the potential unforeseen implications such actions can have on international relief efforts.

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