UK minister: We have tolerated investment in soccer by Russian kleptocrats for too long

A man speaks on a mobile phone at an entrance to Stamford Bridge, the stadium for Chelsea Football Club, after Russian businessman Roman Abramovich said on Wednesday that he would sell Chelsea, 19 years after buying it, amid growing pressure for oligarchs to be hit by sanctions after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in London, Britain March 3, 2022. REUTERS

Britain has tolerated the investment of Russian kleptocrats in its soccer clubs for too long, British sports and culture minister Nadine Dorries told parliament on Thursday.

"In football ... we have tolerated the investment of Russian kleptocrats for far too long," she said during a debate on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

She said the decision by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich to sell Chelsea Football Club was a "turning point" and that the government would bring forward new tests on potential club owners.

"We need to make sure that football clubs remain viable," she said.

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