Putin's 'favourite' club continues to use Ukrainian defender as scapegoat

Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg is no closer to settling with Ukrainian defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy.

Ukrainian defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy has been facing backlash following his comments over the crisis in his homeland

Ukrainian defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy continues to face backlash from his club following his comments over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Zenit St. Petersburg reportedly dropped Rakitskiy from Thursday's Europa League clash with Real Betis after the defender comments on the crisis in his home country.

Rakitskiy might not get much sympathy in his homeland, as the 54 capped Ukrainian international controversially joined Zenit from Shakhtar Donetsk in January 2019.

Zenit's manager Sergei Semak has now confessed he does not see the player having a future with the club.

"It’s hard for me to say whether he will play Rakitskiy for Zenit. His contract is valid for just three months", Semak said.

Rakitsky posted a picture of a Ukraine flag on Instagram with the caption, "I’m Ukrainian!".

It is believed this was the reason why the defender missed last week's Europa League match against Real Betis.

According to the Daily Mail, Zenit's decision to drop Rakitskiy was because of its relationship with energy corporation Gazprom.

Gazprom is partially owned by the Russian government, and President Vladimir Putin is a huge Zenit fan.

As tensions in Ukraine increased, sanctions and measures taken against Russia have affected Gazprom and Putin's beloved Zenit.

UEFA and German outfit Schalke 04 have both cut their ties with Gazprom, with the European body set to lose £66m in sponsorship.

UEFA also removed St. Petersburg's stadium as hosts of this season's Champions League final in favour of Paris.

Topics:

More from category

Recommended articles

Pulse Sports NPFL Team of the Week

Pulse Sports NPFL Team of the Week

Tunisia’s US Monastir and Egypt's Zamalek advance to semifinals

Tunisia’s US Monastir and Egypt's Zamalek advance to semifinals

Shapovalov, Tsitsipas face a tricky opening round clash as Halep headlines Women's action in the French Open

Shapovalov, Tsitsipas face a tricky opening round clash as Halep headlines Women's action in the French Open

Cameroon’s FAP and Angola’s Petro de Luanda move on to semifinals

Cameroon’s FAP and Angola’s Petro de Luanda move on to semifinals

Kurt Zouma and brother Yoan to appear in court today over cat-kicking footage

Kurt Zouma and brother Yoan to appear in court today over cat-kicking footage

Udoka's Celtics beat down Heat to tie Eastern Conference Finals

Udoka's Celtics beat down Heat to tie Eastern Conference Finals