Chelsea request Middlesbrough cup tie is played with no fans as argument presented to FA

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Chelsea have requested that their FA Cup quarter-final with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium is played behind closed doors after being told they are not allowed to sell any away tickets for the encounter. The Blues reached the last eight of the competition after seeing off Luton Town in the fifth round earlier this month.

Chelsea have been thrown into turmoil after their Russian oligarch owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale following his country’s attack on Ukraine. The 55-year-old was later sanctioned and had all his assets frozen – but he will still be allowed to offload the club after the government gave the green light for the sale to go ahead.

The government has banned Chelsea from selling match tickets and merchandise and has also put a stop to them buying and selling players. But they have been given a special licence to carry on playing matches due to their status as a “culturally significant asset.”

Ahead of their showdown at the Riverside Stadium, the Blues discovered that they would not be permitted to take any travelling supporters with them. And, according to iNews, the club have asked “with extreme reluctance” to play the game without any fans in the stadium “for matters of sporting integrity.”

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