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Chelsea’s African fans defend embattled Blues amidst government intervention

6:15 PM SGT 16/3/22
Chelsea fans Stamford Bridge
The restrictions imposed upon Roman Abramovich have left the club staring at an uncertain future

By Joel Omotto

Chelsea’s African fans have defended the embattled Blues amidst government intervention in the club’s affairs in light of sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich due to his proximity with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The restrictions imposed upon Abramovich have left the club staring at an uncertain future, with some of the club’s fans in Africa having their say on the Pensioners’ plight.

This is after Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel questioned the government’s priorities after comments made by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson that the club’s supporters should stop chanting for Abramovich.

“We recognize the strength of feeling around people’s clubs but that does not excuse behaviour which is completely inappropriate at this time,” the Prime Minister’s spokesman said. “I think people can show passion and support for their club without resorting to that sort of stuff.”

Asked about his feelings towards those sentiments on the eve of their Uefa Champions League Last 16 second leg match away to LOSC Lille, Tuchel said: “I don’t know if fan chants being discussed in parliament mean that we have to worry about the priorities of this government.”

Tuchel has had to answer a number of tough questions regarding Chelsea’s situation since the UK government-imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs, including Abramovich, following Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

Chelsea fans have voiced their displeasure online, and feel the club is being targeted unfairly.

“We believe Roman Abramovich is the owner of Chelsea football club and not the government of UK. Big shame for interfering in football,” said John Otwori.

“Government can’t stop fans from chanting [for] Abramovich coz it’s not [the] government’s job. Y’all have victimized him enough. Abramovich is not part of the Russian government officials,” said Ogunmola Oyetunji.

Tshiphongo Vhutshilo commented: “So it means people must sing Boris Johnson’s name. How can you victimize people for singing the name of a person they love.

“Are [we] also sanctioned from singing or mentioning the name of [Roman Abramovich]?”

“UK Govt does not have good priorities. What they are just looking for is to see Chelsea dying instead of concentrating on real issues. Shameful government,” wrote John Kaka Julius.

Emmanuel Moyo was straight to the point in his defence of the Chelsea owner: “Roman even deserves a Statue at the Bridge,” while Panko Ababio Jeabunbug added: “Pure hatred and jealousy.”

“It’s no longer football, it’s all politics,” said Mwamba Haggai Lukonde.

While the future may be uncertain for Chelsea, a notable portion of the club’s African fanbase are sticking with the embattled Blues.