Real Betis sporting director Miguel Torrecilla has confirmed that Ukraine striker Roman Zozulya has returned to the club after a backlash from fans of Rayo Vallecano against the decision to sign the player on loan.
"Problems with radical groups"
“People come before everything else and so we will look after Zozulya, we want him to be calm. He will come back to Seville for now and we’ll have a look at what our legal team can do,” Torrecilla said on Wednesday. “We were informed that he was having problems with radical groups. We have spoken to Rayo and we agreed that for the benefit of our player, who is an asset, he should return to Seville.”
Fan power wins through as the Zozulya deal is off. The Ukrainian player claiming he doesn't want to play "somewhere where he's not wanted" pic.twitter.com/lu1MPjSelf— Paul Reidy (@paulreidy67) 1 February 2017
Zozulya unable to play again this season
Zozulya finds himself in limbo as he cannot now play for Betis for the remainder of the season and can’t move to another club as he was registered at Dnipro at the beginning of the 2016-17 campaign.
“The player has been saddened by this because he did not expect it,” Torrecilla added.
Rayo supporters groups had staged various protests against the signing of Zozulya before, during and after his first training session with the club. Fans brandished banners alluding to the striker’s alleged neo-Nazi ideology and confronted him and his agent at the club’s offices in Madrid. Zozulya denied he has any far-right sympathies or links to paramilitary groups in Ukraine in an open letter to Rayo fans when he signed for the club.