Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » Football
1-min read

Just a Footballer, Don't Have Political Views: Ukrainian Roman Zozulia Defends Himself Against 'Nazi' Accusations

Albacete forward Roman Zozulia, who was attacked by Spanish fans last weekend, defended himself from accusations he has Nazi sympathies.

Associated Press

Updated:December 20, 2019, 3:11 PM IST
facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp
Just a Footballer, Don't Have Political Views: Ukrainian Roman Zozulia Defends Himself Against 'Nazi' Accusations
Roman Zozulia (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Madrid: The Ukrainian player insulted by Spanish fans in a second-division match last weekend defended himself Thursday from accusations he has Nazi sympathies.

Albacete forward Roman Zozulia reiterated that he has no connections to radical political groups in his home country, and offered explanations to the photos used by fans to say he has far-right views.

Zozulia spoke four days after the match between Albacete and Rayo Vallecano was suspended at halftime because of insults by Rayo fans against the former Ukraine national team player.

"I'm just a football player. I don't have any political views," Zozulia said through a translator during a news conference in Albacete. "I wouldn't want in my team or in my stadium anyone whose ideology supports any type of violence."

The 30-year-old Zozulia acknowledged he supported the Ukrainians against Russian-backed separatists back home and participated in humanitarian actions "dedicated to help save lives."

"I'm a patriot, that is not a crime," Zozulia said. "We never bought any weapons."

Some Rayo fans accused him of having radical views thanks in part to a series of online photos that showed him alongside army troops, including one in which he held a gun.

"We used to visit some war zones to show our support to the troops, as patriots," he said.

Zozulia had already been targeted by fans last season. In an Albacete match at Deportivo Lugo in March, the home fans repeated chants of "Die, Zozulia." There also were reports of other games in which the striker was insulted by fans of Spanish clubs.

Zozulia's loan from Real Betis to Rayo in 2017 had to be called off because of the protests by Rayo fans, many of which are known for being advocates of left-wing causes.

Zozulia thanked everyone for the messages of support he has received in Spain and at home, including by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

"Would any president support a Nazi?" Zozulia said. "What people have said of me is not true. I'm just a football player and a patriot."

Zozulia said that despite the recent incidents, he wants to continue to play in Spain, a place he calls his "second home."

The decision on whether Sunday's game should be finished will be taken by the Spanish football federation. It will also decide what punishment, if any, will be handed to Rayo Vallecano.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results