A spokesman for Glen Kamara has said UEFA’s ten-game ban for the player who racially abused the Rangers midfielder is too lenient and “makes a mockery” of the organisation’s claim to take racism seriously.
Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela was suspended after UEFA’s disciplinary committee found that the player has racially abused Kamara during a Europa League match last month.
The Finnish midfielder says Kudela told him to shut up before covering his mouth, leaning into his ear and saying: “You’re a f****** monkey, you know you are”. Kamara was banned for three games for assaulting Kudela in the tunnel at Ibrox after the match.
In a statement issued on Kamara’s behalf, lawyer Aamer Anwar said: “It is welcome news that today UEFA has found Ondrej Kudela guilty of the racist abuse of Rangers player Glen Kamara.
“However, Glen is left disappointed that the sanction imposed by UEFA on Kudela is the bare minimum of ten games, that could be imposed.
“On Monday we provided UEFA with a substantial dossier of evidence on Kudela’s racism seeking robust sanctions, but we also made submissions that the proposed 5 match ban for Glen should be reduced.
“Whilst Glen’s proposed 5 match ban is now down to 3, we will await the publication of UEFA’s full decision, before deciding whether to appeal against this sanction.
“As for the sanction imposed upon Kudela, UEFA should have imposed a minimum year-long ban rather than a tokenistic ten match ban.
“Under the UEFA disciplinary regulations Kudela could have been banned for ‘at least ten matches or a specified period of time’, and we firmly believe that UEFA should have made use of the significant discretion available to them, to send a far stronger message that this type of abhorrent conduct will not be tolerated on the football field.
“There is no other workplace within which such racist behaviour would be tolerated.
“Sadly UEFA once again has made a mockery of their claims that they want to kick racism out of football.
“Ondrej Kudela acted in a grotesque and racist manner, but his behaviour was compounded by his club Slavia Prague, who implied that my client Glen was a liar. Kudela’s racist behaviour has consequences and it has incited the fans of Slavia Prague, who went on to subject Glen Kamara to horrendous racism on a daily basis.
“There is no excuse or justification for racism on or off the playing field, and it really is time for the footballing community to take action against clubs, fans and social media that perpetuate racism.”
Rangers said that the club was pleased that Kudela has been punished and said it would be seeking further information on the ban for Kamara and his team-mate Kemar Roofe, who received a four-game ban for a dangerous challenge on Slavia Prague’s goalkeeper in the same match.
Kudela continued to deny racist language and said that the official who carried out UEFA’s investigation had found no “convincing” evidence. The 34-year-old apologised for his conflict with Kamara, while insisting he was not guilty of racist abuse.
The Czech international said: “I am surprised that the UEFA Disciplinary Committee has reached a different conclusion than its inspector before. According to him, there was no convincing evidence for my accusation of racism, which I continue to reject.
“In retrospect, I realize that it was a mistake to go to Glen Kamara at all and tell him anything. There were emotions in the match and unfortunately I can’t take it back now. I’m so sorry.”
Slavia Prague said that they were awaiting full details of UEFA’s ruling but that the “respect the decision”.
Club chairman Jaroslav Tvrdík said: “Ondřej was suspended for ten UEFA games and as a club we respect the decision.
“In any case, Ondřej Kúdela should not have approached the opposition player.
“I deeply regret that and apologise to Glen Kamara for a situation that has clearly caused distress to him and his teammates, as well as everyone associated with Slavia and Rangers.
“I am taking positive steps to prevent such a situation from happening in our club ever again.”
Police Scotland’s investigations into the allegations of racist abuse, and the claim that Kamara had assaulted Kudela, are ongoing.
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