Great Britain

Czech government official hits out at Uefa over Ondrej Kudela’s racism ban

A senior Czech government official claims Uefa handed a 10-game ban to Ondrej Kudela for abusing Rangers’ Glen Kamara in order to satisfy the “perverted expectations of a small group of activists”.

Vratislav Mynar’s intervention came on the day police said they had reported Kudela and Kamara to Scotland’s prosecution service after investigating allegations of racist abuse and assault during the Europa League game between Rangers and Slavia Prague at Ibrox last month.

A case of “racially aggravated conduct” against Kudela has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal after the 34-year-old was accused of shouting a discriminatory slur into Kamara’s ear. Kamara has been reported to prosecutors over an allegation that he punched Kudela in the tunnel after the match.

Mynar has accused Uefa of acting in the “pinnacle of hypocrisy” in banning Kudela and he bizarrely suggested the ruling would see players who are not black become the victim of discrimination. Mynar heads the Office of the President of the Republic, a department set up to ensure presidential powers and are carried out.

In his open letter to Uefa’s control, ethics and disciplinary body, he wrote: “I note that racism is unproven and alleged. The Uefa inspector himself questioned that Ondrej Kudela had made a racist statement. Nevertheless, you have decided on a completely unprecedented punishment for a player who did not harm anyone and only verbally – according to his statement – offended his opponent.

“You condemn a decent person without a single piece of evidence. You make it impossible for athletes to fulfil their dream in the Europa League – all this just to fulfil the perverted expectations of a small group of activists and a club unable to win on the field, all the more so by shouting empty and hurtful phrases about racism.

“In your submission, the fight against racism has become the fight of the unsuccessful against the successful, the pinnacle of hypocrisy, positive discrimination and embarrassing undermining with stupid trends.

“Your efforts can lead to the opposite, a situation where a person with a colour other than black will be discriminated against, oppressed and deprived of their rights. That is why I also consider it necessary to oppose this procedure.

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“Although you’re probably not used to it, let me tell you one thing. I very much appreciate the fact that the Czech public does not identify with your verdict, across the whole society. On the contrary, even if only for a short time, you have managed to unite ancient rivals. We will not kneel before you and no threats apply to the Czech football fan.”

Kamara was given a three-game ban after being found by Uefa to have assaulted Kudela in the tunnel. Kamara met police officers last week to discuss the complaints, and his solicitor Aamer Anwar urged Kudela to follow suit.

Anwar said: “We would strongly urge Mr Kudela to cooperate with officers carrying out their investigations into his alleged criminal conduct … Glen Kamara has fully cooperated with Police Scotland and provided a statement to officers at my offices.”

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