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Roman Abramovich collapses


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Roman Abramovich collapses in failed bid to conquer Kilimanjaro


Cheryl Cole can do it, even the 18-stone disc jockey Chris Moyles did it, but Roman Abramovich, usually master of all he surveys, has collapsed in an attempt to climb 3½ miles up Mount Kilimanjaro.

The billionaire owner of Chelsea football club has had to face the reality that there are things beyond the reach of Russian oligarchs as he was carried to safety after experiencing breathing problems during a failed attempt to ascend the mountain in Tanzania last week.

The 42-year-old invited a group of six friends to scale the 19,330ft summit of Africa's highest mountain. They took with them no fewer than 113 porters to make sure they wanted for nothing. However, due perhaps to time constraints rather than arrogance, they failed to train properly to cope with the altitude.

The expedition had to be cancelled at 15,100ft after Abramovich succumbed to what appear to have been symptoms of altitude sickness and needed medical attention.

We were not given a reason for his failure to reach the peak, but there are reports from his team that he developed some breathing problems," said Pascal Shelutete, a spokesman for the Tanzania National Parks Authority.

According to Shelutete, Abramovich's party, who flew in on the oligarch's private Boeing 767, decided to tackle the mountain at the western breach, which is the most difficult approach.

Most of the people who climb the peak each year use an easier path, dismissed by mountain experts as the "Coca-Cola route". However, the Abramovich group — believed to include Guus Hiddink, Chelsea's interim manager last season — reportedly failed to undergo the usual seven-day acclimatisation procedure to adapt to the climate and the low air pressure.

Instead they proceeded with the climb upon arriving in spite of warnings that the mountain, known as the Roof of Africa, claims the lives of up to 20 people who attempt to reach the peak each year.

It is believed that Abramovich might have been wrong-footed by the fact that the climb is technically very easy and failed to listen to warnings that its altitude and low temperature can make it a difficult trek.

A spokesman for Abramovich confirmed that the visit had taken place but could not comment on the incident.

Cole, the wife of the Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole, Moyles and other celebrities took the ascent and descent in a much more leisurely eight days in March and raised £1.4m for Comic Relief


Considering the age of our squad the last thing we need is this man dying, transfer ban or not.

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he had breathing problems up that mountain, when the overweight chris moyles was fine.

who knows what will happen in the future.

Did you actually read the 'report' fully?

It said, that instead of going the way that Moyles and co went, he went somewhere what was called dangerous. So, how is that going to 'ruin' Chelsea?

He went up the wrong side of the mountain when he was warned.

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Chelsea have rubbished suggestions that billionaire owner Roman Abramovich collapsed in an attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Itwas claimed that Abramovich experienced breathing problems during afailed attempt to ascend the mountain in Tanzania last week.

ButChelsea tonight insisted that Abramovich did not require medicalattention and denied that their former interim coach Guus Hiddink wasin the expedition, which the Blues also maintained was properlyprepared and organised.

A spokesman for Chelsea said: "RomanAbramovich did not collapse, develop respiratory problems, altitudesickness or require medical attention during his recent trip to MountKilimanjaro.

"The expedition was properly prepared and those in the group who wanted to reach the summit did so without incident.

"Furthermore,despite claims to the contrary, Guus Hiddink was not a member of theexpedition, as he was in Britain leading the Russian national footballteam to victory over Wales."

Chelsea responded after reportsclaimed that Abramovich ran into problems when the 42-year-old and aparty of six friends set out to scale Africa's highest mountain.

Itwas alleged that they failed to train properly to cope with thealtitude and the expedition had to be cancelled at 15,100ft afterAbramovich succumbed to what appeared to have been symptoms of altitudesickness and needed medical attention.

It was also suggested thatAbramovich's group reportedly failed to undergo the usual seven-dayacclimatisation procedure to adapt to the climate and the low airpressure.

Hiddink was also supposedly involved in the attempt toscale the mountain, known as the 'Roof of Africa', but Chelsea have nowfirmly denied all the allegations.


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