EPL

'You have to stop' – Tuchel frustrated by continued questioning over Ukraine crisis and Abramovich

By Sports Desk March 01, 2022

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel became irritated with journalists after repeated questions regarding the crisis in Ukraine and his club's owner, Roman Abramovich.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday and the conflict continues to escalate.

The world of sport has responded strongly, with several sanctions placed on Russian sporting federations and teams. In football, FIFA and UEFA have banned Russian sides from competing in their tournaments, while European football's governing body has also stripped St Petersburg of this season's Champions League final.

Abramovich, meanwhile, has been mentioned as an individual who may be sanctioned by the British government.

On Thursday, Abramovich's name was brought up in the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament as possible sanctions against the Russian state and individuals were discussed.

Such sanctions are yet to be placed on the Russian-Israeli businessman, though Abramovich announced he was handing over the "stewardship and care" of Chelsea to the trustees of its charitable foundation on Saturday.

On Monday, a spokesperson for Abramovich told PA that the 55-year-old was attempting to assist peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

The subject dominated Tuchel's news conference on Tuesday, ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup tie with Luton Town, and eventually the former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund coach grew frustrated.

"You have to stop. I am not a politician. Honestly, I can only repeat it," he said. "I even feel bad to repeat it, to talk about it. I have never experienced war. 

"I am feeling very privileged, I sit here in peace. I do the best I can. You have to stop asking me these questions. I have no answers to you.

"You always start the question with the same sentence: 'There's much more important things than football, can you comment?'. You decide also to ask me about war. 

"How often do I need to say it? It's horrible. There cannot be any other opinion about it. That's it. Why should we be more distracted than you at work?"

Tuchel's hope is for he and his team to be able to focus on football.

"It's out there. There's more important things out there. This will never change. It's about sports," he continued.

"There's a lot more important things out there. Still, there is a huge distraction going on. We are worried. 

"In the end we try and create an atmosphere to come to work, which is our passion. We are very, very grateful and privileged to have it and it's not that big of a problem. 

"Everybody in Europe has some noise in his head that nobody likes. Maybe the same for you but still you try to do your job as good as possible, the same for us."

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