Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko insists he ‘stands with Israel’ on social media – before deleting the post amid backlash from fans – as the Ukrainian is subjected to hateful online abuse ahead of clash with old club Man City
- The Ukrainian was subjected to vile social media abuse after posting online
- Oleksandr Zinchenko published an Instagram story update supporting Israel
Arsenal full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko decided to restrict his Instagram profile from the public after being targeted by online social media trolls after posting that he ‘stands with Israel’.
The Ukrainian joined millions of online users around the world posting heartfelt messages of support for Israel, but was quickly subjected to vile abuse.
Over the weekend, Hamas militants launched rocket strikes on Israel and invaded parts of the country, killing civilians and kidnapping others with swift retaliation later following.
Zinchenko has been a voice of support for his home nation of Ukraine during their ongoing conflict with Russia after Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion that first began in February last year.
The Arsenal defender – who has been busy preparing for Sunday’s Premier League encounter against Manchester City – demonstrated his unity with Israel in similar fashion to many world leaders by posting an image on his Instagram story.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has been subjected to vile social media abuse after posting a message of support for Israel
Zinchenko posted this update on his Instagram story in relation to the ongoing feud between Israel and Hamas militants
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Showing the Star of David – a religious symbol recognised by the Jewish community which is Israel’s main religion – the story update read: ‘I stand with Israel’.
However, his post opened the floodgates for anonymous abusers to target Zinchenko with outrageous retorts that show the dark side of social media.
The 26-year-old previously featured in a Game4Ukraine charity match stage at Stamford Bridge in August and used to help raise money to aid the war-torn nation.
His beliefs have this time come under attack with one profile hiding behind an image of someone else, replying to Zinchenko’s update: ‘Funny how he’s the one crying about what Russia are doing to Ukraine.’
Another commented: ‘Same guy wants us to have sympathy with his beloved Ukraine. Disgusting.’
A third profile on Twitter drew comparisons to Mason Greenwood who was previously arrested on suspicion of attempted rape and assault last year before the charges were eventually dropped by the Crown Prosecution service.
The online post read: ‘Greenwood aside Zinchenko is easily the most unlikeable footballer around.’
Zinchenko is preparing to feature in Sunday’s Premier League encounter against Man City
Zinchenko’s Instagram profile has since been switched to private mode
A third comment from a Manchester City supporter stated: ‘He is one of the most unlikeable footballers out there.’
Zinchenko reacted to the online vitriol by making the surprising decision to restrict his Instagram account to private and take down the story update.
Footballers use their social media profiles to push sponsorship deals and connect with supporters and Zinchenko boasts 2.5million Instagram followers at the time of publication.
Other athletes have previously weighed in on the feud between Israel and Palestine with Riyad Mahrez, Mohamed Salah and Mesut Ozil making public social media statements two-years ago calling for an end to military violence in the region.
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