Tuchel 'happy' Chelsea's closed door request vs Middlesbrough withdrawn, as it was 'not the very best idea'

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea applaud 2021-22Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel has claimed he's happy that Chelsea's short-lived request to play this weekend's FA Cup match against Middlesbrough behind closed doors was withdrawn amid backlash, suggesting it wasn't an idea he or his players ever supported.

The Blues, unable to send fans to the match due to sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich, initially wanted no supporters allowed at the ground for the quarter-final clash.

They relented, however, amid pressure from Middlesbrough and opposing fans.

What has been said?

"[The idea was] not mine or from the team," Tuchel told reporters. "Let me put it like this: we love to play in front of spectators. And I don't think that spectators for opponents should suffer from the consequences [of what's going on with us].

"So I think the proposal was withdrawn and it was absolutely the right thing to do, because that was from our side and hopefully it was not meant like this. It was not the very best idea to put it like this. We love to play in front of spectators. Me and the team were not involved in this decision and I'm happy that it was withdrawn, very happy."

The bigger picture

Middlesbrough were furious with Chelsea's request and have since made away stand tickets available for their own supporters.

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Tuchel, meanwhile, continues to face difficult questions about the near-future of the club amid Abramovich's sanctions and impending sale, which could happen in a matter of weeks.

There is a deadline of March 18 for bids to be submitted.

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