Days after Aliya, Chelsea owner Abramovich withdraws United Kingdom visa request

01 June, 2018, 03:08 | Author: Carlos George
  • Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich

Abramovich, 51, landed at Ben Gurion International Airport on Monday and received an Israeli identity card under the Law of Return, which allows Jews to become citizens of Israel.

Abramovich did not attend the FA cup final at Wembley earlier this month when Chelsea beat Manchester United.

The move has not been confirmed by Abramovich's Moscow-based spokesman John Mann, while Chelsea declined a request from ESPN FC to comment. Not only is Israel the Jewish homeland, it provides a safe backup residence, as well as rights afforded to Israeli-passport holders, including tax benefits, some protection against extradition and the convenience of visa-free travel across the European Union.

Some have speculated that Abramovich wants Israeli citizenship so that he can enter Britain without a visa.

"Those with Israeli passports are non-visa nationals, which means they do not need a visa to come to the U.K.as a visitor for a maximum period of six months", a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May told The Guardian.

In February, media reported that Abramovich had attempted to gain a residency permit there.

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The business man was born to Lithuanian Jewish parents Irina and Arkady, who died before he turned four.

He also indicated that it would be to live in his own house in tel Aviv.

Abramovich, who owns London's Chelsea soccer club and is worth $12.5 billion according to the British press, instantly became the richest person in Israel.

The billionaire has effectively been banned from the United Kingdom after his previous visa ran out in March and has not yet been renewed by the Government.

But diplomatic relations between Britain and Russian Federation plummeted after the Skripal poisonings, which Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said had probably been personally ordered by Mr. Putin.

Abramovich served as governor of Russia's remote Chukotka from 2000 to 2008 and pumped in millions of dollars to develop the remote region.

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