The United Kingdom government has hit Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich, and six other Russian oligarchs with sanctions.
They were hit with assets freeze and travel ban as part of new UK government sanctions targeting the Russian government.
Russian opposition leader, Alexei Nalvany, had named Abramovich among the oligarchs assisting President Vladimir Putin.
The sanctions are all coming amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the orders of Putin, an action which has generated an outcry from world leaders.
Abramovich had announced last week that he was selling Chelsea FC which he bought in 2003.
AFP reports that the UK government estimated his net worth at £9.4 billion (11.1 billion euros, $12.2 billion), but said it was mitigating the effect of the sanctions on Chelsea by allowing the club to continue to operate.
A special licence “authorises a number of football-related activities”, the government said in a statement.
“This includes permissions for the club to continue playing matches and other football-related activity which will in turn protect the Premier League, the wider football pyramid, loyal fans and other clubs,” it added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the sanctions as “the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people”.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss added, “Today’s sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society.
“With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression. The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should hang their heads in shame.”