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Match that was abandoned after player called a 'Nazi' to resume

Rayo Vallecano will play Albacete in an empty stadium following an incident involving Roman Zozulya.

Roman Zozulya (file pic).
Roman Zozulya (file pic).
Image: Ariel Schalit

THE SPANISH FOOTBALL federation on Friday ordered the second division match suspended in mid-December after Rayo Vallecano fans called Albacete’s Roman Zozulya a “Nazi” to be completed in an empty stadium.

The game was stopped during the first half and then suspended at the interval after Rayo supporters directed “repeated insults and chants” at Ukrainian Zozulya, the federation announced.

Rayo were also fined €18,000 and will have to play two matches with the section of the stadium where the chanting took place closed.

Zozulya, 30, joined Rayo on loan in 2017 from Real Betis but never made an appearance for the club after his spell was cut short due to opposition from Rayo fans who protested against Zozulya’s alleged links to the far right.

Rayo are based in the working class Vallecas neighbourhood of Madrid, and their fans are known for left-wing activism.

After the abuse he received at the 15 December game Zozulya got support from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who described him as “not only a cool football player but a true patriot”.

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© – AFP, 2019

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