Thomas Tuchel has pleaded for questions put to him about Roman Abramovich to end, saying he has “no answers”.
A visibly moved Tuchel asked reporters to stop asking him questions about the war in Ukraine, saying the situation is “horrible”.
“You have to stop, I am not a politician,” Tuchel said, eventually halting journalists after several questions at his pre-match press conference before Chelsea play Luton in the FA Cup.
“I can only repeat myself, and I feel bad to repeat it as I never experienced war. So even to talk about it, I feel bad.
“I’m very privileged as I sit here in peace. I do the best I can but you have to stop asking me these questions as I have no answers for you.”
Labor MP Chris Bryant used Parliamentary Privilege to reveal that Chelsea owner Abramovich is selling his UK home and another flat, telling the House of Commons the Russian billionaire is “terrified of being sanctioned”.
Tuchel says Abramovich’s decision to pass over control of the club to trustees has made no difference to him and the team, or the day to day running of the club.
He reiterated he does not expect his responsibilities at Stamford Bridge to change, despite Abramovich announcing his intention to hand stewardship and care of the club to its charitable foundation. Abramovich released his statement on Saturday, on the eve of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Luton, Tuchel said: “For me as a coach and in charge of the first team, the position does not change too much in the daily business.
“I have daily exchanges with [director] Marina [Granovskaia] spirit [technical and performance advisor] Petr Cech about how to improve the first team and this will not stop because they stay in charge. It does not affect what I do on a daily basis. “
When asked if Abramovich’s ownership of Chelsea is a problem, Tuchel added: “It’s a bit too much for me to answer. I’m not aware of any details and I’m not aware of the whole situation. We all agree there are situations much more important than football.
“This will never change. Situations like war are of course so much more important but it’s not for me to comment on the situation with Abramovich. I do not know enough about it.”
Tuchel: We’re calm in center of a storm
“There are much more important things than football. Of course, war is horrible and there can not be any other opinion than this. But why should we be more distracted than anyone else? There is a huge distraction going on and we are worried but we try to create an atmosphere where we can focus on our passion.
“We are privileged but of course across Europe, everyone has noise in their heads they do not like. Everyone is trying to do their best to do their work.”
When asked if he was worried about the future running of Chelsea, Tuchel said: “I’m not sure if I’m the person to give any messages to the fans that isn’t sporting.
“We try to be calm here and we are calm in the center of a storm or of some noise around us that we can not control and we are also not responsible for it. It’s best to stay calm, focus on what we love and what we do. This is sport. We have a right to focus on sport and the players have a right to be focused. This is what we can tell the fans and this is what they saw on Sunday.
“There is a lot of commitment from the players and the fans but everyone is aware there are more important things. The situation in Ukraine is much more important than football and yet still there was a full stadium at Wembley and two strong teams who played a fantastic match. We can distract the fans and entertain them, and I do not see any other solution. “
Abramovich ‘trying to broker peace’ between Russia & Ukraine
Abramovich is attempting to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine, the Chelsea owner’s spokesperson has said.
The Russian-Israeli billionaire handed “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to the club foundation’s trustees on Saturday, in a move aimed at protecting the Stamford Bridge club.
But now the 55-year-old is trying to help bring an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I can confirm that Roman Abramovich was contacted by the Ukrainian side for support in achieving a peaceful resolution, and that he has been trying to help ever since,” Abramovich’s spokesperson told the PA news agency.
“Considering what is at stake, we would ask for your understanding as to why we have not commented on neither the situation as such nor his involvement. Thank you.”
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