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In a statement, the mobile phone network, which is a shirt sponsor for the club, said: “In light of the government’s recently announced sanctions, we have requested Chelsea Football Club temporarily suspend our sponsorship of the club, including the removal of our brand from shirts and around the stadium until further notice.
“We recognise that this decision will impact the many Chelsea fans who follow their team passionately. However, we feel that given the circumstances, and the Government sanction that is in place, it is the right thing to do.
“As a mobile network, the best way we can support the people of Ukraine is to ensure refugees arriving in the UK from the conflict and customers currently in Ukraine can stay connected to the people who matter to them. Therefore, we are offering connectivity packages to all Ukrainians in the UK, and those in Ukraine”.
Earlier today, the government announced Abramovich had been added to the UK sanctions list.
The government said he now faces a prohibition on transactions with UK individuals and businesses, a travel ban and transport sanctions.
Prior to the sanctions introduced today, Abramovich had said he planned to sell Chelsea following public pressure after Russia invaded Ukraine.
A government press release said: "As part of the UK’s leading efforts to isolate Putin and those around him, these oligarchs – who have a collective net worth of around £15bn – will have their assets in the UK frozen, they are banned from travelling here and no UK citizen or company may do business with them."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.
"Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies."
Alongside Abramovich, his one time business partner Oleg Deripaska, who has has stakes in En+ Group, was also added to the sanctions list, along with Chairman of VTB bank Andrey Kostin, CEO of energy company Gazprom Alexei Miller, president of the Russia state-owned pipeline company Transneft Nikolai Tokarev and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank Rossiya Dmitri Lebedev.
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