The government in Lisbon said its backing of the sale hinged on “the guarantee given by the British authorities that the proceeds from the sale will be used for humanitarian purposes, not directly or indirectly benefiting the owner of the club, which is on the European Union sanctions list.”
The decision by Portugal was announced Thursday, a day after the British government approved the sale of Chelsea by the sanctioned Russian oligarch to a consortium fronted by a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Portugal’s rubber stamp was also needed for the deal worth 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) — the highest price ever for a sports team — to go through.
“The two competent national authorities, the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of finance, gave the green light to the request received from Roman Abramovich for a humanitarian waiver, allowing the English club to be transacted,” the Portuguese government said in a statement.
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