Spain’s Segunda Division match between Albacete and Real Vallecano was suspended at halftime due to chanting aimed at Albacete and Ukranian striker Roman Zozulya on Sunday.
Rayo Vallecano fans shouted “F*@king Nazi” at the forward throughout the first half of the game in Madrid. After a long delay head referee, Jose Antonio Lopez Toca, made the executive decision to suspend the game.
Today's game between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete was suspended at halftime due to chanting by the home fans aimed at Albacete player Roman Zozulya
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) December 15, 2019
Shortly after the game ended, the league released a statement on the situation, expressing their support over the decision made by Lopez Toca.
“LaLiga expresses its agreement with the decision taken by Jose Antonio Lopez Toca, the referee of the match between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete, to suspend the match after serious insults and threats during the first half against Roman Zozulya, player of the visiting club, and at the request of the two teams in the Vallecas stadium,” the statement read.
“From LaLiga, we continue working to eradicate violence, racism and xenophobia in the stages of Spanish professional football.”
In 2017, Zozulya joined Rayo on loan from Real Betis but was immediately cut from the team after its well-known left-wing, fervid supporters protested the arrival of the now 30-year-old due to his far-right ties, which the player has denied in the past.
“As I stated at my presentation with Real Betis, I’m not linked to any paramilitary or neo-Nazi group,” Zozulya said following his failed move to Rayo in 2017.
Zozulya’s club, Albacete, also released a statement following the game’s suspension.
“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.”
Zozulya’s last played with the Ukrainian national team on November 2016. In 33 caps for the Main Team, the forward has scored four goals.