Slavia Prague have denied accusations that their player Ondrej Kudela racially abused Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara and claim that Kamara assaulted Kudela in front of Steven Gerrard and UEFA observers.
The Europa League match between the sides at Ibrox on Thursday night was marked by a serious incident in the second half when Rangers players reacted angrily after Kudela approached Kamara with his hand over his mouth and said something that appeared to shock the midfielder and his teammate Bongani Zungu.
After the final whistle, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said that Kamara had insisted that he was racially abused. He backed the player and called on European football’s governing body UEFA to take action.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said “no reports of criminality had been made by either club in connection with the match”.
A spokesperson said: “Police Scotland has contacted club officials and assured them that should any allegation be received it will be investigated thoroughly.”
Slavia, who won the match 2-0, issued a statement denying that Kudela had said anything racist, but saying that their player was the victim of a violent attack.
The statement read: “The club denies the allegations of racism of one of the team captains Ondřej Kúdela.
“Slavia resolutely denies the disgusting accusation of one of the team captains Ondřej Kúdela of racist behaviour. Already the founders of our club gave us crest where white colour means “the purity of the idea of sports and fair contest where the rival is not our enemy, but respected opponent.” Today, Slavia is an international club based on the respect for the opponent and mutual respect of all people and cultures.
“After one of the brutal fouls, Ondřej Kúdela spoke to one of the Rangers players. ‘I told him ‘You f*****g guy’. It was said in emotions, but I absolutely deny there was anything racist in those words,’ Kúdela stated.”
The statement made reference to a challenge by Kemar Roofe on the Slavia goalkeeper, which resulted in the Rangers striker being shown a red card.
“Slavia players faced an unprecedentedly malicious play from their opponents,” the statement continued. “They have never experienced such play in any game they participated in the modern history of the European competitions.
“Many brutal tackles resulted in injuries of our players. Goalkeeper Ondřej Kolář travelled to a hospital with ten stitches on his head.
“After the end of the game, the team was not allowed to enter the dressing room.
“Ondřej Kúdela was assaulted by player Kamara and hit with fists in the head with manager Steven Gerrard witnessing the incident. Even the UEFA representatives who were also present on the site of the incident were shocked by this behaviour.
“The team is now safe accompanied by the Scottish police.”
In his post-match media conference Steven Gerrard said: “Glen Kamara to me is one of my own. I 100% believe what he is saying in terms of the accusation. Other players around him heard it.
“I will stand with Glen Kamara and deal with it however he wants to deal with it. I’m proud of all of my players tonight. They showed solidarity and from the top of this club to the bottom we stand with the players.
“It’s over to UEFA now, this situation, and I just hope it doesn’t get brushed under the carpet.”
A UEFA spokesperson said on Friday: “UEFA is aware of an incident which occurred in the tunnel after the end of the match and which involved some players of both teams. We are waiting to receive detailed reports of the match officials who were present at the game before commenting further.”