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Chelsea owner Abramovich gets Portuguese citizenship By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich walks previous the High Court in London November 16, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo

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By Andrei Khalip

LISBON (Reuters) – Billionaire Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich has turn out to be a Portuguese citizen, including the European Union member nation’s passport to his Russian and Israeli ones.

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A spokesperson for Abramovich confirmed a report by Portuguese newspaper Publico on Saturday which cited justice ministry paperwork as saying the Russian-born businessman had been granted Portuguese citizenship on April 30.

Abramovich’s case was primarily based on a Portuguese legislation providing naturalisation to descendents of Sephardic Jews who had been expelled from the Iberian peninsula throughout the medieval Inquisition, the newspaper stated.

Thousands of Israeli Jews have been granted Portuguese citizenship because the legislation was handed in 2015. The variety of such purposes has risen in Portugal since the same citizenship supply to Sephardic Jews by Spain led to 2019.

Applicants’ genealogies are vetted by consultants who additionally search for proof of curiosity in Sephardi tradition.

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Abramovich has donated cash to initiatives honoring the legacy of Portuguese Sephardic Jews within the German metropolis of Hamburg, in accordance with the Jewish Community of Porto’s info portal Mazal.

There is little recognized historical past of Sephardic Jews in Russia although Abramovich is a typical surname of Ashkenazi Jewish origin.

Abramovich made his fortune, now estimated to be price $14.3 billion in accordance with Forbes, in Russia’s oil business within the Nineteen Nineties and purchased Chelsea Football Club in 2003. He served as a regional governor in Russia from 2000 to 2008 and took Israeli citizenship in 2018.

Around 300,000 Jews lived in Spain when, in 1492, monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand ordered them and the nation’s Muslims to transform to Catholicism or go away. Tens of hundreds fled to Portugal, solely to be persecuted there or expelled in 1496.

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