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Dutch FA to look into Vitesse links with Chelsea

02 April 2014, 17:50

Amsterdam - The Dutch FA have asked Vitesse Arnhem to comment on claims in a local newspaper interview by the club's former owner that their relationship with Chelsea has curtailed their Dutch title ambitions.

"In the interests of the integrity of the (Dutch league) competition, the KNVB is to ask Vitesse to explain their organisational structure and its governance," said a statement from the Dutch FA on Wednesday.

"The KNVB and Vitesse have agreed to meet soon and after discussion it will be decided whether an investigation is needed."

The FA's intervention follows allegations in an interview with De Telegraaf by former Vitesse owner Merab Jordania that Chelsea exerted undue influence at the Eredevisie club and had sought to prevent them qualifying for the Champions League.

Under UEFA rules two clubs under the same ownership cannot play in the same European competition in the same season.

"I want to tell the Vitesse supporters the real story," said Jordania, a former Georgian footballer who saved Vitesse from financial ruin in 2010.

"I wanted to reach for the title, but 'London' didn't want that in the end. Ambition is fine, but Vitesse is not allowed to reach the Champions League.

"That is why (former coach) Fred Rutten left (last June). He knew that he wasn't allowed to win the title with Vitesse."

Chelsea declined to comment on the allegations.

Vitesse are now owned by Russian tycoon Alexander Chigirinsky and have a formal relationship with Chelsea, which has seen players regularly loaned to the Arnhem-based club.

Last weekend Bertrand Traore scored for Vitesse, who are in third place nine points behind leaders Ajax Amsterdam, and other players on loan from the Premier League club include Brazilian striker Lucas Piazon and Ghana international Christian Atsu.

Vitesse chairman Bert Roetert described Jordania's interview as "a poor 1 April joke" in a statement on the club's official website (www.vitesse.nl).

- Reuters


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