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Rayo Vallecano

LaLiga mulling criminal suit in Roman Zozulya case

Javier Tebas, the president of LaLiga, is to meet with Rayo, Betis and the AFE players' union over the striker's return to Betis after Rayo fan protests.
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Javier Tebas.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas weighed into the controversial transfer of Roman Zozulya from Betis to Rayo, which ended on Wednesday with the player returning to his parent club from Madrid after a series of protests staged by Rayo supporters over the Ukraine international’s alleged far-right sympathies.

LaLiga will launch a criminal suit if there has been any illegal behavior in the Zozulya case,” Tebas said on Thursday ahead of a meeting with officials from Rayo, Betis, the AFE players’ union and Zozulya.

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Zozulya in limbo

“I have spoken to the presidents of Rayo and Betis and also with the president of the AFE, Luis Rubiales. We are all going to meet at 8pm [on Thursday] with the player. LaLiga’s stance is that if it transpires in the course of this meeting that there has been illegal behavior and his fundamental working rights have been threatened we will file a criminal lawsuit,” Tebas said. Zozulya is now unable to play again this season having been registered at three clubs in 2016-17: Dnipro, Betis and Rayo.

"We have to show tolerance and abide by the law"

“It is unacceptable that we are having this problem in 2017. We cannot permit that somebody has their fundamental rights impinged. That is a matter that only the judicial authorities can decide upon and implement. This cannot be permitted to happen to both Spanish and foreign players. If we find that there has been coercion in [Zozulya] leaving Rayo, we will not hesitate to take the matter to the courts. You cannot stereotype the ideology of every single person. We have freedoms. We have to show tolerance and abide by the law whether we like someone’s way of thinking or not.”


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