Glasgow Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara, who was a victim of alleged racist abuse from Slavia Prague player Ondrej Kudela in a European game in March, was booed during the trip to face Slavia’s arch-rivals, Sparta, in the Europa League.
Against Rangers, Sparta Prague were themselves serving a stadium ban for racist abuse, but they were allowed by UEFA to have as many as 10,000 under-14 spectators at the match.
Sparta supporters racially abused Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco in August, during another European outing. The game was interrupted for several minutes as a consequence. UEFA banned spectators from Sparta’s stadium for the game against Rangers, but kids could still attend the match. They received free tickets, with parents and guardians in charge of small groups. Kamara was jeered at his every touch of the ball.
The midfielder was the victim of alleged racist abuse from Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela earlier this year. The Czech international got a 10-match ban following the incident, but never accepted any wrongdoing and accused Kamara of lying. Kamara was suspended for three matches himself after assaulting Kudela on his way to the locker room at Ibrox after the game finished.
“I had hoped when I heard of the stadium closure of Sparta Prague that both Glen and other black players wouldn’t have to put up with any abuse or racism and could just get on with playing football,” Kamara’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar said in a statement. “But this evening should be an embarrassment for the Czech side that, despite their fans being banned, it still made little difference that the stadium was filled with 10,000 schoolchildren,” Anwar added.
“A huge proportion of those children booed Glen’s every touch of the ball along with every other black player for Rangers. Tonight shows yet again that Prague has a serious problem with racism and, as usual, UEFA is nowhere to be seen,” he said.
Gerrard: ‘They don’t do enough to stop it’
Glenn Kamara, 25, was sent off after 74 minutes in the game against Sparta, which Rangers lost 1-0 in the Europa League. Rangers are at the bottom of Group A, with no points and no goals scored after two games. Lyon leads the pack on six points, with Sparta Prague second on three. Danish side Brondby is third with one point.
Talking to BT Sport, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said he was “not surprised” by what happened in Prague. The coach blamed the football authorities for not doing enough to stop racism.
“We’re playing behind closed doors, apparently. I’m not surprised, it’s not the first time when there are issues in this place,” Gerrard said. “The powers that be don’t do enough. Tonight, the punishment was supposed to be a fine and a game behind closed doors. Ok, they had kids, but it’s not closed doors. If you’re going to punish someone, go with the punishment: empty stadium and a fine,” Gerrard argued.