While Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich awaits the sale of the club by the UK government, the Russian billionaire has been attempting to broker peace between his native Russia and Ukraine. According to the BBC, during peace talks that were held along in Kyiv, along the Ukraine-Belarus border on March 3, 2022, Abramovich and two other officials reportedly began experiencing symptoms of suspected poisoning.
🚨 Roman Abramovich suffered symptoms of suspected poisoning at peace talks in Kyiv earlier this month.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) March 28, 2022
The report indicates that Abramovich, who has since fully recovered, suffered from ‘piercing pain in the eyes,' as well as peeling of his skin. The two others inflicted by the suspected poisoning were reportedly Ukrainian officials, though all three parties have since recovered.
Conflicting reports have since emerged as to whether or not the individuals were actually poisoned. A spokesperson from Ukraine's presidential office alleged the story was false and indicated the nation's delegates were “fine,” per the BBC. Meanwhile, the BBC also reported an unnamed US official had claimed that the symptoms experienced by the men were the result of “environmental factors” rather than the suspected poisoning. It's unclear precisely what occupancy Abramovich is taking in these peace negotiations, though the BBC report indicated that his influence was “limited.”
Abramovich's ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin have landed him in quite the controversy. He's being forced to sell Chelsea, and all of his assets have been frozen by the UK government amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Abramovich acquired Chelsea in 2003 and has since poured hefty funds into the club, raising its stature to become one of the most reputable in world football.