Photo credit: @thesun.co.uk
Rayo Vallecano are reported to have sent deadline day signing Roman Zozulya back to Real Betis due to alleged Nazi links in native Ukraine.
The striker who is reported to have links to a far-right paramilitary group which fight against those with pro-Russian ideologies is the face of an advert for a far-right group which 'kidnapped' volunteers but he claims it was 'misunderstanding'.
According to SunSports
, when the Donbass War broke out, Zozulya was at Dnipro, and the club’s Ultras created a military group whose objectives included capturing ‘volunteers’ for the Ukraine National Guard, the Azov Regiment — and used his image to propagate their views.
The group is made up primarily of Ukrainian neo-Nazis. And the image of Zozulya in a Dnipro shirt and a military jacket was to recruit new members.
Rayo tried to strike a deal with Real Betis to sign him, but, when fans insisted he went “against the values of the club”, the Madrid-based team appeared to pull out of discussions.
However, in the final moments, it was resurrected, and the deal went through. And Zozulya penned a letter to the fans in which he claims his alleged ties to the Ukrainian far-right is all down to a misunderstanding.
In it, he claims the whole story started with a picture taken of him when he arrived at Betis from Dnipro in the summer.
He writes that a journalist in question, who knew “very little about the realities of my country and my beliefs”, took a picture of him arriving at the Seville airport, wearing a coat with the shield of his country.