A fan club of Oviedo FC (Spain) stands against the contract with Roman Zozulya, which the team's management reportedly considers now.
Pena Azul Otero group treats the Ukrainian forward not worthy enough to wear the team's T-shirt. 'Do not sign in with Zozulya. He has ties with Ukrainian neo-Nazi and paramilitary groups', reads the message on Twitter.
Other football supporters posted similar things, perceiving Roman 'the Nazi who doesn't belong to the football'.
Zozulya already experienced this particular trouble in January 2017, when he tried to sign in with another team from Spanish top football league, Rayo Vallecano. Back then, the football fans also took him as a Nazi. Roman tried to explain it; he emphasized that the Ukrainian volunteer battalions, which he supported during the war in Donbas in 2014-2015, have nothing to do with the Nazism. However, his explanations changed nothing.
The Ukrainian striker spent the last season with Albacete FC, where he had no problems with the local supporters, and even gained some popularity. Nonetheless, he still has not signed the contract with the team.
In February 2017, Spanish La Liga, Association of Spanish football players and administration of Rayo Vallecano FC released the joint statement on the disturbing situation with Ukraine’s forward Roman Zozulya. ‘We remain firm in this regard so as to withstand any pressure. The player should enjoy safety in both professional career and personal life. While being aware of terms of conditions stated by La Liga, Rayo Vallecano, and the Association, the player will have to decide on his future,’ said the statement.
La Liga, the Association, Rayo Vallecano and Betis, Zozulya’s former club, fully supported the Ukrainian and his right to switch the team. Besides, Zozulya enjoyed the support of the Federation of Football of Ukraine, coach of the national team Andriy Shevchenko and the Ukrainian embassy in Spain.
Previously, the Federation of Football of Ukraine condemned the hostile attitude of Rayo Vallecano fans towards Zozulya. Based on Zozulya’s solidarity with far-right Ukrainian movements and support for Ukrainian troops fighting in Donbas, the fans called him a ‘racist’.