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Soccer-Rayo-Albacete match abandoned after player subjected to 'Nazi' taunts

Soccer-Rayo-Albacete match abandoned after player subjected to 'Nazi' taunts

A Spanish second division soccer match between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete was abandoned at halftime on Sunday after Albacete forward Roman Zozulya was subjected to offensive chanting from the home supporters, who accused him of being a Nazi. A statement from the league's organizing body said it agreed with referee Jose Antonio Lopez Toca's decision to abandon the match, which it said was taken at the request of both teams, due to "grave insults and threats" made towards Zozulya.

The game was goalless at halftime, while Albacete midfielder Eddy Silvestre had been sent off in the 45th minute. According to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Rayo fans sang "Zozulya you are a Nazi" at the Ukrainian striker, 30, who had a short-lived spell on loan at the Madrid side in February 2017.

At his first and only training session with the club, Zozulya was given an angry reception by Rayo fans, who accused him of belonging to the far-right movement in his home country. Zozulya, who has denied ever belonging to far-right groups, immediately returned to parent-club Real Betis before signing for Albacete as a free agent in 2017.

"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."

Reuters contacted both clubs to request comments. Rayo issued a short statement on Twitter confirming the game had been called off due to the "chants and insults heard during the first half".

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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