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Chelsea fans in Abramovich's Ice Kingdom taste early defeat

VLADIVOSTOK, May 22 (RIA Novosti) - Chelsea fans in Chukotka in Russia's Far East drowned their sorrows on Thursday morning after the London club, owned by the region's governor Roman Abramovich, lost to Manchester United in the Champions League final.

The match kicked off at 7.30 a.m. local time in the Chukotka Autonomous Area, located more than 5,500 km from Moscow (more than 3,400 miles). As a result, many people in Anadyr, the capital of the harsh northeastern region, took a day off work to watch the game, which took place in the Russian capital's Luzhniki stadium.

"Most fans watched the game at home. However, many preferred to watch it together in the biggest karaoke bar in Anadyr. At the end of the game the majority of fans stayed in the cafe to discuss Chelsea's missed chances and drown their sorrows," a local fan told RIA Novosti.

Many of the fans belonged to the Chukotka Chelsea fan club, and one of its members said that, "In the event of a Chelsea victory, we were ready to hold a victory parade in the streets of Anadyr."

"We were forced to put it off until another time, however," he added philosophically.

Roman Abramovich became governor of Chukotka in 2000. He purchased Chelsea three years later. The side have since won the English Premier League twice, but have failed to lift Europe's most prestigious club competition.

Chukotka does not have its own soccer team. Spartak Chukotka, who used to play their 'home' games in Moscow, were disbanded in 2000 by Abramovich's predecessor.

Manchester United defeated Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after the match finished 1-1.

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