Thomas Tuchel has admitted that calls in Parliament for sanctions against Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has caused “many uncertainties” at the club.
The German is preparing his side to take on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday, where he hopes to win a third trophy of his year-long tenure having already scooped the Champions League and Club World Cup.
But speaking to the media on Friday, Tuchel admitted that the conflict involving Russia and Ukraine had been “worrying” and “distracting” for his players, with scrutiny increasing on Abramovich, who has owned Chelsea since 2003, by the day.
The 55-year-old is yet to face sanctions from the Government, but Tuchel admitted that it has been difficult to concentrate on football matters with Abramovich’s name frequently brought up in the House of Commons.
“There are so many uncertainties around the situation of our club and of the situation in the UK with scenarios like this that it makes no sense if I comment on it,” Tuchel said. “We are aware of it, [but] we do not have as much inside information as you think.
“I am aware of all these scenarios and I am aware of all these discussions. I would love to take my right not to comment on this until there is a decision made. But we are aware of it and it’s distracting us, it’s worrying us.
“To a certain degree, I can understand it to such a degree, the opinions and the critical opinions towards the club, towards us who represent that club. I can understand that and we cannot fully free ourselves from it.
“Maybe people understand that me as a coach or the players, we don’t have the insight about what is really going on. At the moment, we don’t feel responsible for all this. We feel that it is horrible and there can be no doubt about it. War in Europe was unthinkable for me for a long period.
“The impact is clear and the discussions have an impact. Let’s be a bit more patient and understand what the measures will be and then we have to maybe deal with it.”
On whether it was possible to solely focus on football, Tuchel continued: “I think you can’t. I think the situation is too big and it is not an isolated situation somewhere. It concerns Europe, it’s in Europe and we are part of Europe. We cannot say let’s put this to the side. It’s the opposite. We have to live with it right now. There is no running away from it.
“There is no shutting the doors and now we focus on football. We are still privileged to live in peace and freedom right here where we are right now.
“And we are still privileged to have a game of football, to have an emotional but peaceful environment with fans in the stadium. We are very, very, very privileged, so this is a hardcore reality check right now. How privileged we are. And I don’t think this will go away, that my mind is clouded. It will not go away for anybody. The issue is too big.”