Chelsea owner Abramovich becomes Israeli citizen after problems with United Kingdom visa

29 May, 2018, 07:00 | Author: Carlos George
  • Reuters Staff  Reuters

The Russian-Jewish billionaire owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich, has flown to Tel Aviv after being found eligible for Israeli citizenship.

The Ynet website, that belongs to Israel's biggest selling daily, Yedioth Aharonoth, said Abramovich, who is Jewish, jetted into Tel Aviv and had received documents confirming his status as an Israeli citizen.

The official was not authorized to talk to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity.

'In total, Abramovich spent about three hours in Israel, ' stated the report.

Thus, with a personal wealth of some 12.5 billion USA dollars, Abramovich has become Israel's richest national.

Joe Skipper  Reuters                   Abramovich's little boat
Joe Skipper Reuters Abramovich's little boat

It is not clear if the United Kingdom chose to reject his application permanently but a source familiar with the matter told the Daily Telegraph that the renewal process was taking an unusually long time.

The Nativ Liaison Bureau, which facilitates immigration from Russian-speaking countries, said Abramovich applied for citizenship from overseas last week. The move could pay off financially as new Israeli citizens are exempt from paying tax on foreign income for 10 years.

The delay in issuing him a new one comes amid increased diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in southern England.

Mr Abramovich has been a regular visitor to Israel and Ynet said he had bought a property that was formerly a hotel.

Having amassed a huge and controversial personal fortune through dealings in the Russian oil industry in the 1990s, Abramovich acquired Chelsea in June 2003 and has invested well in excess of £1 billion in the club, bankrolling a 15-year run that has brought 15 major trophies to Stamford Bridge.

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