CHELSEA sanctions have barred the club from giving out free tickets to a memorial service planned for club legend Peter Bonetti.

Bonetti died in April 2020 during lockdown at the age of 78 and a memorial is arranged for 2pm on Friday at Stamford Bridge, which is still expected to go ahead.

According to the Daily Mail, those who acquired tickets before the sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich by the UK government last week will still able to attend.

But no one else can be present even though the west Londoners were planning to give away tickets for free.

According to the sanctions imposed on the club after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Abramovich's alleged ties with president Vladimir Putin, free tickets would still be classed as a transaction.

That is why staff have also been instructed not to hand out any more tickets as that would still violate the government's strict financial measures.

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Bonetti is one of Chelsea's greatest ever goalkeepers, which is why he earned the nickname of 'The Cat', and made 729 appearances across all competitions throughout his celebrated career.

The fresh restrictions come shortly after the Stamford Bridge outfit was barred from selling tickets for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final clash with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Chelsea have asked the FA to allow the game to go ahead behind closed doors "for matters of sporting integrity".

But Boro are having none of it as they described their opponent's request as "bizarre" and "ironic in the extreme".

That is why the Championship side released a statement insisting that it will resist that suggestion "in the strongest terms".

The statement read: "We are aware of Chelsea's request to have Saturday's Emirates FA Cup sixth round tie played behind closed doors and find their suggestion both bizarre and without any merit whatsoever.

"All concerned are well aware of the reasons Chelsea have been sanctioned and that this has nothing to do with Middlesbrough Football Club.

"To suggest as result that MFC and our fans should be penalised is not only grossly unfair but without any foundation.

"Given the reasons for these sanctions, for Chelsea to seek to invoke sporting "integrity" as reason for the game being played behind closed doors is ironic in the extreme.

"We currently await formal notification from the FA of the next steps but rest assured MFC will resist Chelsea's actions in the strongest terms."

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