Chelsea supporters have been urged to stop chanting in support of the club’s owner Roman Abramovich.
Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Technology minister Chris Philp said fans need to remember Abramovich has close ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin, whose regime has committed “barbaric acts” in Ukraine.
“I understand why Chelsea fans have some affection for him, but when the regime he is associated with is committing atrocities that is more important than football,” he told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.
“So I would ask them to think very carefully before doing that again because the barbaric acts of the Putin regime which Abramovich has supported is far more important than football.”
The sanctions, that were imposed on Thursday, mean Abramovich is currently unable to sell the club , though a special licence granted by the government is allowing Chelsea to keep operating.
Philp says the terms of that licence could be altered to allow a sale to go through.