LISBON ( Associated Press) — The Portuguese government has given its approval for the sale of Chelsea by Roman Abramovich, who needed approval due to his Portuguese citizenship.
Portugal’s decision was announced on Thursday, a day after the British government approved the sale of Chelsea by the sanctioned Russian oligarch to a consortium led by a Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner.
The go-ahead from Portuguese authorities was also needed to finalize the deal valued at 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion), the highest amount ever achieved by a sports team.
“The two competent national authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, gave the green light to the request received from Roman Abramovich for a humanitarian exemption, which allows the English club to be transacted,” Portugal said in a statement. .
The Portuguese government added that its support for the sale depends on “the guarantee given by the British authorities that the proceeds of the sale will be used for humanitarian purposes, without directly or indirectly benefiting the owner of the club, which is part of the list. of European Union sanctions.
He stressed that his decision had the support of the European Commission.
Abramovich obtained Portuguese citizenship in 2021 through a law that offered to naturalize descendants of Sephardic Jews who were forced to leave the Iberian Peninsula centuries earlier.
Abramovich was sanctioned by British and European authorities for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine. The British and Portuguese authorities had to ensure that the oligarch did not benefit from the forced sale of the club.
Abramovich’s assets were frozen in March and Chelsea have been operating under a license from the British government, which expires on Tuesday.
Abramovich has not had a British visa since 2018. Since then, he has also obtained Israeli citizenship.