Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara has demanded UEFA shows it is serious about banishing racism after he reported receiving “vile” abuse from Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela.
Kamara claimed he was targeted by Kudela during Rangers’ Europa League defeat to Slavia on Thursday.
The Czech club have strenuously denied the allegations and issued a statement on Friday defending Kudela.
Kudela, who covered his mouth with his hand, leaned in to Kamara and said something which sparked fury from the Rangers man and his team-mate Bongani Zungu.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard spoke to his Slavia counterpart Jindrich Trpisovsky on the pitch at full-time and then later on the touchline, along with officials from each club and tournament organisers UEFA.
Gerrard later insisted he stood by Kamara, and UEFA has said it will investigate incidents from the game. Kamara issued his personal recollection of events through his solicitor on Friday evening.
“There is no place for racism or any form of bigotry in football,” Kamara said in his statement, which he published on his Twitter account.
“Since summer many of us have taken the knee in solidarity with those who have lost their lives to racial violence. If UEFA genuinely want to ‘show racism the red card’, then it’s time to stop the tokenism and take a zero-tolerance approach.
“As a player I do not expect myself, nor any other to have to tolerate racial hatred on or off the pitch in 2021. The vile racist abuse by Ondrej Kedel [sic], took place on the international stage, and any failure to act by UEFA will be viewed as a green light for racism.
“During yesterday’s match with Slavia Prague, Kedel (sic) 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. Kedel’s claim he simply swore at me and said ‘You’re a f****** guy’ is a complete utter lie which does not stand up to any form of scrutiny.
“Kedel’s actions were deliberate and premeditated, but he was loud enough for my team-mate Bongani Zungu to hear what was said.”
Steven Gerrard has arrived to speak to the media.
SG: I spoke to Glen last night and will speak to him again after this press conference. It is important for me to listen to Glen and find out how he is feeling.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) March 19, 2021
Kamara went on to thank Gerrard and the club, as well as Rangers’ fanbase, while also highlighting that Kemar Roofe – who was sent off for a high lunge on Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar – had received racist abuse on Instagram.
On Friday it was confirmed Kolar had suffered a frontal sinus fracture.
Slavia said they have made a criminal complaint since the match, after alleging Kamara “physically abused” Kudela in the presence of officials from UEFA and both clubs.
They defended Kudela as “a football gentleman”, and reiterated the centre-back refuted the racism allegations against him.
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