Czech footballer Ondřej Kúdela, centre-back for Slavia Prague, accused of racism in Glasgow
The Ibrox Stadium in Scotland, one of the temples of world football, turned into a war zone on 18 March as Glasgow Rangers and Slavia Prague were fighting to advance to the quarter-finals of the European League. Instead of a pleasing football match, though, what was on display were countless personal duels, resulting in fouls committed by the Scottish team's players that were so harsh as to be insidious.
Two red cards were the result, so the Glaswegians completed the match with just nine players. Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondřej Kolář did not finish the match either.
One hour in, Kolář ran too far out from the net and the foot of an incoming attacker got him in the face. An examination that night confirmed a fracture to his forehead cavity.
After yet another unsportsmanlike intervention by the home team, the tense match came to a head. Slavia centre-back Ondřej Kúdela, covering his mouth with one hand, said something to Glen Kamara of the Rangers, a mid-fielder who is of dark complexion.
A shoving match ensued on the pitch, which was partially calmed down but then allegedly continued in the tunnel even after the final whistle. "I told him: 'You're [a] fucking guy'," Kúdela said to the media after coming back from an anti-doping checkup.
"I was emotional after the two red cards and the many brutal interventions by our rivals, but I absolutely reject racism," the Slavia player said. Players for Rangers, led by Bongani Zungu, had immediately appealed to the referee after the verbal incident, saying Kúdela had castigated Kamara with the words "You fucking monkey".
Slavia Prague players allege that Kamara was unable to take the situation and later assaulted Kúdela in the tunnel, beating him in the presence of Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. The incident was also allegedly witnessed by UEFA representatives.
Gerrard has denied any such thing happened. The Czech club even called the police, who escorted the team from the stadium to their hotel.
The Rangers manager then gave a press conference accusing Kúdela of racism, which Slavia Prague resolutely rejects and has called a fabricated accusation. UEFA will be addressing the entire situation and Slavia Prague is considering filing a criminal report against Kamara.
The match ended 0:2 in Slavia's favor. The Prague team has advanced to the quarter-finals of the European League where they will do battle with another club from the British Isles, Arsenal of London.
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