Chelsea fans condemned for disrespectful chant as Turf Moor stood in solidarity with Ukraine

Chelsea fans have come under heavy criticism after interrupting a poignant pre-match moment of solidarity at Turf Moor.

By Daniel Black
Saturday, 5th March 2022, 5:13 pm

The stadium rose to rapturous applause in recognition of the people of Ukraine, who have suffered unimaginable atrocities in the face of Russia's inhumane barbarism.

But while the football family stood shoulder to shoulder in support of the Ukrainian population following the invasion of their country, a minority of travelling Blues broke away from the minute's applause to chant the name of outgoing owner Roman Abramovich, who announced this week he is selling the club after 19 years.

In his programme notes, ahead of Burnley's midweek game at home to Leicester City, Chairman Alan Pace said: “The scenes that we have witnessed over the last few days have been horrific and put football firmly into perspective.

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Players, officials and fans take part in a minute of applause to indicate peace and sympathy with Ukraine prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor on March 05, 2022 in Burnley, England.

"Everyone at the Club stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and against tyranny, wherever it exists. Our thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected by the Russian invasion, not least those in the local community with friends, family and colleagues back home.

"At times like this, football has the power to unite and send a clear message around the world. I urge all supporters, home and away, to come together before kick-off this evening and make their voices heard to show that we are thinking of the people of Ukraine and praying for a peaceful resolution.”

The chants of 'Roman Abramovic, Roman Abramovic' were sung on loop as the LED boards pitch-side were illuminated in blue and yellow, the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

They reared their head in the first half and again in the second, with all instances being met by audible jeers from thousands of fans stationed in the neighbouring half of the Barnfield Construction Stand as well as the James Hargreaves, Jimmy McIlroy and Bob Lord stands.

People have also taken to social media to vent their disgust at the disrespectful and offensive behaviour on display. One Twitter user suggested the chants showed ‘no class’, another described the act as ‘abhorrent’ with others simply stating that it was ‘embarrassing’.