Thomas Tuchel has condemned the actions of Chelsea fans today during his side's game against Burnley.
Burnley hosted Chelsea today. The club decided to have a minute of applause before kickoff in support of Ukraine.
This is one of a number of gestures made across sports for Ukraine in the last week after Russia attempted to invade the country. Vitaliy Mykolenko captained Everton on Thursday night in the FA Cup. The club gave each player a Ukraine flag and the stadium was awash with Ukraine colours.
Chelsea are embroiled in the Russian advances more than most sporting entities. Oligarch Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale in the wake of Vladimir Putin's actions. Abramovich has not overtly condemned the war but suggested he disagrees with it publicly.
The club will have a new owner but the fans do not want him to leave. Abramovich has invested heavily in the club since taking over more than 15 years ago.
Since the team has been successful on the field, some fans do not want Abramovich to leave. Those fans are the ones who chose to chant their owner's name during that minute's applause.
"If we show solidarity, we should show solidarity and do it together," Tuchel said.
"We take the knee together. If an important person from another club unfortunately dies we show a minute of respect, it's not the moment to give other messages. It's a moment to show respect. We want to do this because this is what we are also as a club.
"We show respect as a club and we need our fans to commit to this minute of applause in the moment."
Tuchel was not overly emotive in his statements. He was balanced and reasonable. Fans can engage with his sentiment without feeling scolded. But his words also left no room for argument about what message he was conveying. He very clearly stated that his club should not have fans who disrupt a moment of respect.
Chelsea won the game 4-0 after a flurry of goals in the second half. Kai Havertz scored two, Christian Pullisic scored and Reece James scored.
"We do it for Ukraine and there is no second opinion about the situation there. They have our thoughts and our support. We should stand together as a club, it's not the moment for other messages."
"It was not the moment to do this."
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has reacted to Chelsea fans singing Roman Abramovich's name during Ukraine applause. pic.twitter.com/6uXhM5dNQp
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 5, 2022
Chelsea face Norwich City on Thursday before welcoming Newcastle to London next weekend. They are third in the table, six points clear of Manchester United with a game in hand. Manchester United face Manchester City at 4pm on Sunday. OT Sports will have live commentary of that game across all channels.
Stamford Bridge is a problem in Chelsea sale
Football on Off The Ball brought to you by Sky. All the football you love in one place across Sky Sports, BT Sport & Premier Sports.
Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!
Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.