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Vitesse docked 18 factors, relegated amid probe of Abramovich ties

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Dutch membership Vitesse had been docked 18 factors on Friday and will probably be relegated from the Netherlands’ high division whereas below investigation for ties to sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the previous proprietor of Chelsea.

Vitesse mentioned in a press release they won’t attraction the punishment imposed by a licensing panel on the Dutch soccer federation. It dropped the staff into the second tier for the primary time in 35 years.

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Vitesse already had been at risk of relegation earlier than their factors whole was lower to -1 in a distant final place within the Eredivisie standings.

The Dutch federation (KNVB) mentioned Vitesse “repeatedly failed” to satisfy the calls for of its monetary license.

Vitesse and their Russian house owners had longstanding ties to Chelsea, which Abramovich owned for practically 20 years. The British authorities pressured a sale of Chelsea after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The KNVB mentioned there have been “indications that that Abramovich “has or has had” involvement within the working of Vitesse together with “dangers” that sanctions had been violated.

In March 2022, Vitesse had been taking part in within the Europa Convention League spherical of 16 towards eventual champions Roma. The Dutch membership’s fortunes have declined since, and former Netherlands and Barcelona midfielder Phillip Cocu resigned as coach in November.

An investigation by British newspaper The Guardian final 12 months alleged Abramovich secretly funded Vitesse with greater than $100 million.

Chelsea below Abramovich’s possession loaned a protracted checklist of gamers to Vitesse over a number of years, together with Nemanja Matic and Mason Mount.

Info from The Related Press contributed to this report.