Thomas Tuchel ‘happy’ to lose Carabao Cup final against Liverpool if it helps Ukraine

Thomas Tuchel 'happy' to lose Carabao Cup final against Liverpool if it helps Ukraine

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says he would be ‘happy’ to lose the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool if it helped Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

Chelsea, who are owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, will make their first outing since Russia declared war on Ukraine against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Sunday.

Around 90,000 fans are expected at Wembley, while millions around the world will be watching on as Chelsea and Liverpool battle for the first domestic trophy of the season.

But the importance of the fixture pales into insignificance when one considers events in eastern Europe over the past week, with Russian President Vladimir Putin declaring war on Ukraine.

Tuchel admits Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final preparations have been affected by the situation in Ukraine and insists he has mixed feelings going into the Wembley final.

The Blues boss said: ‘Clearly [the match will act as a distraction], but still, because the war is so close, so fresh, maybe it comes with a little bit of a bad conscience on Sunday.

‘Like, are we allowed to fully engage, fully celebrate? Or would it be inappropriate? This is how I feel about it because it’s so new and fresh. It’s a mixed feeling I have to say.’

Tuchel, who led Chelsea to Champions League glory last season, also rejected the notion that his team could use any critical voices towards the club as extra motivation against Liverpool.

Chelsea have faced criticism this week as their billionaire owner Abramovich is believed to be close with Mr Putin and is yet to comment on Russia’s invasion.

Tuchel added: ‘I know what you mean and sometimes we use these things, like when a decision goes against you or you feel treated unfairly, to build this sort of mentality to protect you, your team, your staff and build a strong crew to shield yourself from the influences and unfairness from outside.

‘In this case, the issue is too big.

‘I see the point but if you give it a second thought, how does it help now if we lose a football match given the situation that we have a war?

‘This is simply not important enough and it will unfortunately not help. If it would, I am happy to lose the match.’

Chelsea’s preparations for the showpiece event at Wembley were overshadowed on Saturday by Roman Abramovich’s decision to step back from operations and hand over stewardship of the club to trustees.

Liverpool, meanwhile, will allow their star players to show solidarity with Ukraine before the match, after Saturday’s Premier League fixtures saw a number of gestures and messages to the nation.

Promote Your Song