"I received compliments": Italy's coach defends his praise of Zenit and says he does not know the reasons for Russia's war against Ukraine
Italian national team head coach Luciano Spalletti sees nothing wrong with his congratulations to Zenit St. Petersburg, where Ukraine's traitor Anatoliy Tymoshchuk works, on winning the Russian championship amid Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. The 64-year-old repeated the traditional narratives of Kremlin propaganda about the impossibility of politicizing sports.
Spalletti said this at a press conference before the match against Ukraine in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, according to the website of journalist Alfredo Pedulla. The Azzurri coach noted that he opposes any form of war, but could not call Russia the aggressor, nor the reasons for Russia's invasion of our country.
"Zenit has a lot of players I have coached. I received compliments for winning my championship with Napoli and I think it's normal to respond in a similar way. I think it is absolutely incorrect to compare sporting events and titles with the conflict that is happening now. With which I strongly disagree. I don't know the reasons for it, but I don't agree with any conflict, I'm against any war," Spalletti said.
The Italian worked for the Russian club for four years and was dismissed in 2014. With Zenit, he twice became the national champion and reached the Champions League playoffs.