Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich did not attend Saturday’s FA Cup final win over Manchester United because he has not had his UK via renewed, the Financial Times reports.
Abramovich was not seen at Wembley as Chelsea beat United 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Eden Hazard. Reports in Russia said he was having problems with his visa application.
And on Sunday, the FT dropped the bombshell news that Abramovich’s investor visa has not been renewed at present. The paper said:
“UK authorities have yet to renew Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s visa after it expired last month, three people close to the billionaire have told the FT, as geopolitical tensions rise between Moscow and the west. The Kremlin-connected, London-based Mr Abramovich — who, with a net worth of £9.3bn, is Britain’s 13th-richest man according to the Sunday Times — has returned to Russia after his investor visa ran out, according to two people close to him.
“Mr Abramovich did not attend Saturday’s FA Cup final, which Chelsea, the team he owns, won 1-0. Fellow oligarchs Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin were both in London last week for a high-profile court case between the two men. Mr Deripaska is subject to far-reaching US sanctions that prohibit US citizens from doing business with him.
“A third person close to Mr Abramovich said that his request for a new visa had not been denied, but said that UK authorities were taking longer than usual to renew it without offering any explanation. The Home Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment. More details to come.”
Abramovich bought Chelsea in July 2003 but has never obtained a residency visa in the UK.
Relations between the United Kingdom and Russian have been difficult since the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury on March 4.
The former spy was released from the hospital at the end of last week.