Rayo-Albacete match abandoned after player subjected to 'Nazi' taunts

(Reuters) - A Spanish second division soccer match between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete was abandoned at halftime on Sunday after Albacete forward Roman Zozulya was subjected to offensive chanting from the home supporters, who accused him of being a Nazi. A statement from the league's organising body said it agreed with referee Jose Antonio Lopez Toca's decision to abandon the match, which it said was taken at the request of both teams, due to 'grave insults and threats' made towards Zozulya. The game was goalless at halftime, while Albacete midfielder Eddy Silvestre had been sent off in the 45th minute.

Reuters December 16, 2019 04:12:35 IST
Rayo-Albacete match abandoned after player subjected to 'Nazi' taunts

RayoAlbacete match abandoned after player subjected to Nazi taunts

(Reuters) - A Spanish second division soccer match between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete was abandoned at halftime on Sunday after Albacete forward Roman Zozulya was subjected to offensive chanting from the home supporters, who accused him of being a Nazi.

A statement from the league's organising body said it agreed with referee Jose Antonio Lopez Toca's decision to abandon the match, which it said was taken at the request of both teams, due to "grave insults and threats" made towards Zozulya.

The game was goalless at halftime, while Albacete midfielder Eddy Silvestre had been sent off in the 45th minute.

According to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Rayo fans sang "Zozulya you are a Nazi" at the Ukrainian striker, 30, who had a short-lived spell on loan at the Madrid side in February 2017.

At his first and only training session with the club, Zozulya was given an angry reception by Rayo fans, who accused him of belonging to the far-right movement in his home country.

Zozulya, who has denied ever belonging to far-right groups, immediately returned to parent-club Real Betis before signing for Albacete as a free agent in 2017.

"With the support of Rayo Vallecano, Albacete and La Liga, the referee has suspended the game in Vallecas," Albacete said in a short statement.

"This decision was taken with one objective, which is to safeguard the values of our competition and the sport which we all love."

Reuters contacted both clubs to request comment. Rayo issued a short statement on Twitter confirming the game had been called off due to the "chants and insults heard during the first half".

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.