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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Chelsea-Vitesse connection probed

The Dutch FA (KNVB) is to investigate Chelsea’s relationship with Vitesse Arnhem after the Blues were accused of derailing the Eredivise club’s push for Champions League football. 

Lucas Piazon and Bertrand Traore are among those players to be loaned out to Vitesse Arnhem by Chelsea this season.
Lucas Piazon and Bertrand Traore are among those players to be loaned out to Vitesse Arnhem by Chelsea this season.

Chelsea and Vitesse enjoy a close connection, with the 2012 European champions sending a number of players out to the Netherlands on loan to gain first-team experience, with seven youngsters travelling over from London this season alone. 

Vitesse are under the control of Alexander Chigirinsky, an associate of Blues owner Roman Abramovich -- with accusations surfacing that the latter has an undue influence on affairs in Arhem. 

UEFA rules prevent two clubs under the same ownership participating in the Champions League and former Vitesse owner Merab Jordania has alleged in De Telegraaf that Chelsea have gone as far as ordering the Eredivise’s third-placed side to ease up on their bid for a spot at European football’s top table. 

The comments were widely reported in the British press, with a statement released by the KNVB saying: "The board of directors of the KNVB have contacted Vitesse about these claims. In the interest of the integrity of the league, the KNVB is asking Vitesse to give an explanation of their organisational structure.

"We have asked for information about the new owners. Persons are not allowed to occupy a position in several professional clubs in Netherlands or abroad. Vitesse also have to send a testimonial of good conduct."

Vitesse president Bert Roetert dismissed the allegations, saying: "This almost seems like an April Fools’ joke.”

Last summer, Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars bemoaned the "co-operation agreement" between Chelsea and Vitesse after seeing his club come up short in their efforts to sign Marco van Ginkel.

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