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SBD Global/April 2, 2014/International Football
Dutch Football Federation To Investigage Chelsea Links To Vitesse Arnhem
Published April 2, 2014
The Dutch Football Federation will investigate Chelsea’s links with Vitesse Arnhem after "a claim by their former owner that executives at Stamford Bridge have ordered the Dutch club not to qualify for the Champions League," according to Matt Hughes of the LONDON TIMES. The clubs have "a close relationship," as seven Chelsea players have spent part of this season on loan at Vitesse. The club's ownership structure "has been shrouded in mystery" since Russian billionaire Alexander Chigrinski bought out Georgian businessman Merab Jordania, who initially stayed on as chairman. Jordania claimed Tuesday that Vitesse "have been told by Chelsea to avoid qualification for the Champions League" since UEFA rules do not allow clubs "with a shared ownership taking part in the same competition." Chigrinski is a friend of Roman Abramovich, although "there is no evidence to suggest that the Chelsea owner is directly involved in Vitesse."The Federation "called for clarity" and asked Vitesse to explain its organizational structure. Chelsea declined comment, but sources "at the club dismissed Jordania’s allegations as nonsense" (LONDON TIMES, 4/2)