Abramovich, Chelsea FC Owner, Seeks Israeli Citizenship


Newspapers in Israel have reported that Russian businessman Roman Abramovich will arrive in Israel Thursday where he may apply for Israeli citizenship, TASS said, quoting the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom.

The daily reported that Abramovich decided to make the move after being rebuffed by British authorities, who have rejected his visa renewal request.

Abramovich, the owner of the Chelsea Football Club, is currently building a manor in Tel-Aviv’s prestigious Neve Tsedek neighbourhood.

Another Israeli newspaper, Globes, said in April 2015 that Abramovich had shelled out $25 million for the Varsano Hotel in Neve Tsedek.

So far, this has been his first real estate purchase in Israel. According to the newspaper, the tycoon also snapped up a 1,500-square meter plot of land adjacent to the hotel.

During the same period, Globes said, Abramovich purchased four Israeli startup companies. One of them working on an ultra-fast charging smartphone battery.

On Tuesday, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said it was outside the Kremlin’s competences to tackle issues related to the British visa Abramovich.

“This issue is outside our competences,” he said. “Once certain requirements are advanced (to disclose the origin of his assets to extend his British visa – TASS), it is, probably, up to him to make conclusions as to their legitimacy, not us,” Peskov said.

British authorities citing new rules about wealth acquisition declined to extend the businessman’s investor visa.

The Chelsea owner’s visa expired more than three weeks ago and no new visa has been issued.

Thus, Abramovich was unable to attend the final of the Football Association Challenge Cup where his Chelsea club defeated Manchester United 1-0.

The Guardian newspaper based in London said the Russian billionaire could be required to disclose the source of his financial assets to extend his visa. (NAN)