Chelsea request FA Cup tie to be played behind closed doors for 'sporting integrity’ 3 months ago

Chelsea request FA Cup tie to be played behind closed doors for 'sporting integrity’

Away fans will not be permitted to travel to the FA Cup quarter final

Chelsea have requested their FA Cup quarter final against Middlesbrough on Saturday be played behind closed doors for the sake of "sporting integrity."

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Following the sanctions imposed on club owner Roman Abramovich, the club have been restricted in their usual day-to-day operations as they currently operate under a special license granted by the UK government.

One of those includes the sale of tickets, with only season ticket holders allowed to attend games at Stamford Bridge, whilst any tickets for away supporters will not be allowed to go on sale.

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The club released a statement to say: "We are disappointed to announce we will not be able to sell tickets for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough.

"Despite engaging in extensive discussions with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the deadline to purchase away tickets has passed without appropriate amendments being made to the Government licence which would allow a full allocation of Chelsea supporters to attend. Executives at Middlesbrough had been kind enough to extend their deadline for ticket sales and stadium allocation from 7.30pm last night until 9.30am this morning.

"It is important for the competition that the match against Middlesbrough goes ahead, however it is with extreme reluctance that we are asking the FA board to direct that the game be played behind closed doors for matters of sporting integrity. Chelsea FC recognises that such an outcome would have a huge impact on Middlesbrough and its supporters, as well as our own fans who have already bought the limited number of tickets that were sold before the licence was imposed, but we believe this is the fairest way of proceeding in the current circumstances.

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"We will continue to discuss the issue of ticket sales with OFSI as there are a number of fixtures still to be played this season and we hope to reach a resolution."

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