UEFA has launched an investigation into alleged “discriminatory incidents” in Sparta Prague’s Europa League clash with Rangers.
The fixture, which the Scottish Premiership champions won 1-0, was originally due to be played behind closed doors following the racist abuse of Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni in August but around 10,000 school children and accompanying adults were allowed to attend.
The match last Thursday was marred by the booing of Rangers’ black players, with Glen Kamara seemingly subjected to particularly vocal taunts.
Last March, UEFA ruled Kamara had been the victim of a racist slur from Ondrej Kudela in Rangers’ fixture against Sparta’s Czech rivals Slavia Prague.
European football’s governing body said in a statement on Tuesday: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding potential discriminatory incidents allegedly occurring during the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League group stage match between AC Sparta Praha and Rangers FC played on 30 September 2021.”
Following the fixture, Gers boss Steven Gerrard called for harsher punishments to tackle incidents of racism.
“Sadly, these things keep raising their head far too often and, unfortunately, the punishments are not severe enough,” Gerrard said.
Sparta released a statement in response, claiming that the actions of the children watching had been misunderstood and that allegations of racism were wide of the mark.
“It is absolutely unbelievable that after a match we have to watch innocent children being attacked and face unfounded accusations of racism,” the statement said.
“You are describing the behaviour of children incorrectly, arrogating to yourself the right to judge the expression of emotions of six-year-old children who have no idea what racism is. It’s an impertinence.”
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