Warning: This article contains offensive language
Rangers player Glen Kamara has said he was “horrified” by what he claims was racist abuse from a Slavia Prague player during a match on Thursday.
The Ibrox club has said it is “100% behind” its player after the Europa League tie between the sides boiled over in the second half and Ondřej Kúdela said something to Kamara while covering his mouth.
The Rangers midfielder reacted with shock and anger and his teammates also leapt to his defense.
Slavia instantly denied the allegation and a spokesperson claimed after the game that Kúdela was “beaten with fists” by Kamara after the final whistle.
Kamara said that Kúdela used a derogatory term against him when he leaned into his ear.
A statement issued on Kamara’s behalf by solicitor Aamer Anwar read: “There is no place for racism or any form of bigotry in football. Since Summer many of us have taken the knee in solidarity with those who have lost their lives to racial violence.
“The vile racist abuse by Ondrej Kúdela, took place on the international stage, and any failure to act by UEFA will be viewed as a greenlight for racism.
“During yesterday’s match with Slavia Prague, Kúdela was arguing with a Rangers player and after I tried to intervene, he told me to shut up and then said ‘one second my friend.’
He then came over to me covering his mouth, leaning into my ear, he uttered the words – ‘You’re a f****** monkey, you know you are’.
“I was shocked and horrified to hear such racist abuse from a professional football player. Kúdela’s claim he simply swore at me… is a complete utter lie, which does not stand up to any form of scrutiny.
“Kúdela’s actions were deliberate and premeditated, but he was loud enough for my team-mate Bongani Zungu to hear what was said.
“I am grateful for the unconditional support of my team, our club and especially our manager Steven Gerrard.
“I want to thank not just our Rangers fans, but the many fans from across the football community and beyond, for calling out racism not just against myself, but also fellow player Kemar Roofe, who was subjected to a tirade of racist bile on Instagram.
“We as black players are sick of the freedom that such bigots are given to parade their hatred on social media and wonder when the likes of Instagram will start to take action.”
Slavia has since said it has filed a criminal complaint against Kamara for physical assault with Police Scotland via the Czech embassy in London.
The Prague club said it had named Rangers manager Steven Gerrard as a witness.
A statement from the club read: “[Ondřej Kúdela] is a decent and modest person with a strong moral integrity, popular amongst the players and fans, a football gentleman. He categorically denies and refutes any allegations of racism.
“We are shocked that his reputation and the club’s reputation are being smeared without a single piece of evidence. The only ‘alleged’ evidence is the player covering his mouth – which Ondřej does on a regular basis when he talks to his teammates during our games.”
Police Scotland confirmed on Friday it had not received any reports of criminality from either club.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “No reports of criminality have been made by either club in connection with last night’s match.
“Police Scotland has contacted club officials and assured them that should any allegation be received it will be investigated thoroughly.”
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