Chelsea call for Middlesboroug...


Chelsea call for Middlesborough tie to be played behind closed doors

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Chelsea have requested that their FA Cup quarter-final with Middlesborough be played behind closed doors. 

The London club are operating under restrictions following the sanctioning of their Russian owner, Roman Abramovich.

As a result, they are not able to sell tickets for the game at the Riverside Stadium.

Chelsea have decided to request the game be played behind closed doors to protect 'sporting integrity'.

The club's season ticket holders are able to attend matches at home - but FA Cup games fall outside those parameters.

It's understood up to 500 away tickets for the fixture had already been sold.

Middlesborough's tickets have all been sold.

Chelsea statement

"We are disappointed to announce we will not be able to sell tickets for Saturday's FA Cup tie at Middlesborough.

"Despite engaging in extensive discussions with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the deadline to purchase away tickets has passed without appropriate amendments being made to the Government licence which would allow a full allocation of Chelsea supporters to attend.

"Executives at Middlesbrough had been kind enough to extend their deadline for ticket sales and stadium allocation from 7.30pm last night until 9.30am this morning.

"It is important for the competition that the match against Middlesbrough goes ahead, however it is with extreme reluctance that we are asking the FA board to direct that the game be played behind closed doors for matters of sporting integrity.

"Chelsea FC recognises that such an outcome would have a huge impact on Middlesbrough and its supporters, as well as our own fans who have already bought the limited number of tickets that were sold before the licence was imposed, but we believe this is the fairest way of proceeding in the current circumstances.

"We will continue to discuss the issue of ticket sales with OFSI as there are a number of fixtures still to be played this season and we hope to reach a resolution."

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Chelsea Fa Cup Middlesborough Roman Abramovich

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