UEFA have handed Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela a ten match ban for “racist behaviour” following an incident in the Czech side’s Europa League match against Rangers.
Ibrox midfielder Glen Kamara was incensed after Kudela whispered into his ear during a Europa League tie at Ibrox on March 18.
Kamara claimed Kudela called him a “f****** monkey”, something Kudela denied.
Kamara’s account was supported by Rangers team-mate Bongani Zungu and UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body (CEDB) has now found Kudela guilty of using racist language.
The body’s full written reasons will be published at a later stage.
Police Scotland have also been investigating the incident.
Kudela had been handed a provisional one-match ban over a lesser charge of insulting Kamara, and that ban is included within the overall 10-match sanction.
Kamara has also been banned for three matches after being found guilty of assaulting Kudela in the tunnel after the game.
Lawyer Aamer Anwar, who has been representing Kamara, said his ban had been reduced on appeal from an original five-match charge.
He added: “We are considering the decision and will comment further later today.”
Today Kudela was found guilty of racist abuse towards Glen Kamara & banned for 10 games, this is the maximum penalty that could be imposed by @UEFA & which we sought in our submissions, we had appealed the 5 match ban for @GlenKamara4 & that has been reduced to 3 matches pic.twitter.com/Hy6Kdnd7Uf
— Aamer Anwar🎗✊🏽#BlackLivesMatter (@AamerAnwar) April 14, 2021
A UEFA statement said: “Following an investigation conducted by a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector regarding the incidents that occurred during the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second leg match between Rangers FC and SK Slavia Praha on 18 March 2021, and the subsequent proceedings opened against Mr. Ondřej Kúdela and Mr. Glen Kamara, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has taken the following decisions:
“To suspend SK Slavia Praha player, Mr. Ondřej Kúdela, for the next ten (10) UEFA club and representative team competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible to play, for racist behaviour, which includes the one-match provisional suspension served by the player during SK Slavia Praha’s 2020/21 UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg match against Arsenal FC on 8 April 2021.
“To suspend Rangers FC player, Mr. Glen Kamara, for three (3) UEFA club competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible to play, for assaulting another player.”
Slavia received UEFA disciplinary decision.
— SK Slavia Prague EN (@slavia_eng) April 14, 2021
In a statement, Slavia Chairman Jaroslav Tvrdík said: “Ondřej was suspended for 10 UEFA games and as a club we respect the decision,” adding that “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.”
Rangers’ Kemar Roofe has also been handed a UEFA ban for his tackle on goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar in the same game.
The striker will sit out four games for the poor challenge, which left the Czech keeper with a fractured skull.
Rangers have also been fined £7800 for “improper conduct”.
Rangers said in a statement: “We welcome the suspension imposed on Ondrej Kudela. This not only vindicates Glen Kamara’s evidence but underlines the severity of the comment, given the maximum number of games has been imposed by UEFA.
“Nevertheless, we believe the sanctions imposed on our two players (Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe) are severe. We have written to UEFA, seeking clarification in writing on the basis that we intend to appeal the suspensions on both of players.
“We will make no further comment on this matter.”
Kamara and Roofe have been targeted by online racist abuse since the Slavia match, and last week players and staff at the Glasgow club started a week-long boycott in support of them.
Rangers issued a statement on Wednesday to say that club representatives had met with Facebook and Instagram.
“We outlined our strong belief that social media companies should make it mandatory to provide identification before being able to obtain an account,” the club’s statement read.
“Furthermore, we outlined that young people should be educated and empowered to ensure future generations understand the gravity and impact of their online actions. This is a responsibility of social media platforms, but we highlighted that as a club, we are willing to assist.”
Championship sides Swansea and Birmingham are also boycotting social media, which in their case extends to official club channels.
Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out told the PA news agency on Tuesday that it would support a Premier League-wide social media boycott, with its chief executive Tony Burnett saying he was “sick of the platitudes” from the technology companies.
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