Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has urged fans not to lose sight of the bigger picture after they were heard chanting Roman Abramovich's name during the
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has urged fans not to lose sight of the bigger picture after they were heard chanting Roman Abramovich’s name during the minute’s applause for the victims of the war in Ukraine before Saturday’s 4-0 win over Burnley.
Abramovich is in the process of selling the club – a decision which some fans are not happy with – amid a wave of criticism for his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has ordered the invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Across the Premier League this weekend were displays of solidarity with Ukraine, but at Turf Moor, the travelling Chelsea fans could be heard singing Abramovich’s name during a supportive round of applause.
“It’s not the moment to do this,” Tuchel said of the chants after the game.
“Listen, if we show solidarity, we show solidarity and we should do it together. We take the knee together and if an important person from our club or another club unfortunately dies, we show a minute of respect. It’s not the moment to give other messages. It’s the moment to show respect.
“We do this because this is what we are also as a club. We show respect as a club and we need our fans to commit to this minute of applause. At this moment, we do it for Ukraine and there is no second opinion about the situation there. They have our thoughts and our support. We should stand together as a club. It’s not the moment for other messages.”
Tuchel also took the opportunity to praise his players for blocking out both the literal and the virtual noise surrounding the club in recent days to put in a professional performance.
“It is possible [to block out the noise] because we do it,” he said. “We had a brilliant match at Wembley, then we were at Luton and were twice behind but turned it around, three days later we arrive at Burnley and you know what’s waiting. And again we stepped up. So it shows a lot of character.”