A week has passed and the 'Zozulya Case' is still dragging on. Here is a topic that repulses on all sides. There are pictures of the player (Roman Zozulya) from his past, which in his defence were taken in the context of a country in a state of war: his Ukraine, harassed by its neighbouring giant, Russia. Protests have been made against the neo-Nazi symbol that appears in these photos. His statements denying any far-right sympathies could constitute, at least, an act of apostasy to be seen as something positive. And his Betis teammates, who have lived with him for months, defend him as a good person, a normal guy without violent tendencies.
An atmosphere difficult to ignore
However, the radicals of Rayo Vallecano have rallied against him and created an atmosphere difficult to ignore. Also involved in the matter is somewhat of a side manoeuvre against the president, Martín Presa, that the Bukaneros have persecuted for years. The player said last Monday that he would take the decision to come or not, but now it’s Saturday and he continues training with Betis, but only as a guest. He doesn’t dare to appear in Vallecas, although LaLiga and AFE have guaranteed him and his family security. Neither do Rayo know, consciously, if a player so repelled by a part of the public can play well. Of course, it would be difficult for him out on Rayo’s pitch.
But can a person's right to work be withdrawn because of his political ideology, however unpleasant it may be? That is the conundrum we are in. The player belongs to Rayo, Betis will not think to pay him because he’s no longer one of theirs, and neither will Rayo if he doesn’t turn up. He cannot go anywhere else either. In short, it’s a diabolical mater, as I wrote a week ago. By the way: with regard to that article, I received a letter from a leader of the Bukaneros, complaining that I blamed them for the sabotage of the Vallecas Stadium floodlights in 2012. He was right. The investigation failed and did not find anyone guilty, neither Bukanero nor not Bukanero. Clarification made.