MIDDLESBROUGH has made a “completely unfair” request from Chelsea to play their FA Cup quarter-final behind closed doors at Riverside Stadium.
The Blues are banned from selling tickets as part of sanctions against owner Roman Aramovich by the British government, although the situation regarding away matches remains unclear.
Abramovich has had his assets frozen following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and his alleged ties to president Valdimir Putin.
The west Londoners have therefore asked the FA to allow Saturday’s game to be played without fans “because of issues of sporting integrity”.
But Middlesbrough won’t have that as they describe Chelsea’s request as “strange” and “extremely ironic”.
That’s why Boro released a statement emphasizing that they will fight the proposal “with the strongest terms”.
The statement read: “We are aware of Chelsea’s request to have Emirates FA Cup sixth round match played behind closed doors and find their offer both bizarre and without any value. which value.
“All involved are well aware of the reason Chelsea were sanctioned and this has nothing to do with Middlesbrough Football Club.
“As a result, the suggestion that the MFC and our fans should be penalized is not only unfair but also unfounded.
“Given the reasons for these sanctions, it is ironic for Chelsea to seek to cite ‘integrity’ in sport as the reason for a match to be played behind closed doors.
“We are currently awaiting official announcement from the FA on next steps but rest assured the MFC will counter Chelsea’s actions in the strongest possible terms.”
According to talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan, Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson will not agree to Chelsea’s request.
In fact, Jordan spoke to Gibson, who believes “integrity in sport and Chelsea are words that don’t go together”.
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“It doesn’t make any sense,” Jordan said on White and Jordan. How can you read a room like this if you’re Chelsea?
“Everybody in football right now is looking at you like a rooster, you are a toxic brand, your own sponsors don’t want anything to do with you and your way of dealing. To deal with that is to belittle others financially by saying we don’t want any revenue for you in the FA Cup.
“I just spoke to Steve and his expression was ‘integrity in sport and Chelsea are incompatible words’, that was his reaction.
“They have a playing squad worth around £1 billion and Middlesbrough have a team worth a pack of goblins to compare, so sporting integrity can even be achieved there.
“You don’t need your fans in the stadium for your big players to get through Middlesbrough.
“It’s a misguided, unpolite, uneducated, rude, unedited response from Chelsea and it just gets to the heart of why people are exceptional.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4898795/middlesbrough-chelsea-fa-cup-roman-abramovich/ ‘Extremely ironic’ – Middlesbrough slams Chelsea in damned statement for asking to play FA Cup game without fans