UEFA’s decision to hand Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara a three match ban for his tunnel ‘assault’ on Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela has been labelled an ‘absolute joke’ by supporters.
Slavia Prague defender Kudela was handed a 10-match ban by UEFA on Wednesday for his ‘racist behaviour’ towards Kamara in the two sides’ Europa League round-of-16 tie.
Kamara, 25, said he was the victim of ‘vile, racist abuse’ by Kudela and his ire continued into the tunnel where he has bene charged with ‘assaulting another player’.
Slavia Prague claimed the accused Kudela was ‘cowardly beaten with fists in the face by Kamara’ in the tunnel after the full-time whistle and UEFA – who, it has emerged, initially looked to award a five-match ban to Kamara – have responded.
Glen Kamara (left) has been banned for three games for role in a tunnel ‘assault’ against Ondrej Kudela (right), who has been banned for 10 games for ‘racist behaviour’ towards Kamara
Former Tottenham striker Darren Bent was bewildered at a punishment being given to Kamara
Ian Wright, formerly of Arsenal, gave his verdict on the situation following news of the bans
Solicitor Aamer Anwar was involved in the appeal to see Kamara’s punishment reduced.
He tweeted: ‘Kudela was found guilty by @UEFA of racist abuse towards @GlenKamara4 & banned for 10 games, this is the barest minimum penalty, making a mockery of UEFA’s claims on taking racism seriously-we had appealed a 5 match ban for @GlenKamara4 & now reduced to 3 – full statement in hour.’
Former Tottenham and Aston Villa striker Darren Bent tweeted: ‘Can someone tell me why Glen Kamara has been banned for 3 games after getting racially abused.’
Fans were quick to condemn UEFA and the ban handed to Kamara given the Kudela verdict
Ex-Arsenal striker Ian Wright gave his verdict on UEFA following news of the bans, writing: I’m guilty of this kind thinking as well. So many times you think to yourself “this is a chance for them to send a message” or “this is a chance for them to show how seriously they take it”. Only to be disappointed time and time again.
Given the punishment levelled at Kudela, who has fiercely denied all allegations of racist abuse, fans were quick to criticise the decision to punish Kamara.
‘3 game ban for punching a racist. Absolute joke,’ one disgruntled football fan wrote on Twitter.
Another wrote: ‘Banning the victim – They are so far out of touch it’s worrying.’
‘Absolutely shameful to ban Kamara, and even worse, only 10 games for racial abuse? Disgraceful,’ one supporter tweeted.
‘So let me get this right. Kamara has been banned for three games for being mad about being racially abused. @UEFA never fail to amaze me,’ another fan added.
The Rangers midfielder accused his opponent of calling him a ‘f***ing monkey’ during the heated Europa League last-16 tie
The Rangers midfielder accused his opponent of calling him a ‘f***ing monkey’.
Kamara’s account was supported by Rangers team-mate Bongani Zungu and UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body has now found Kudela guilty of using racist language.
The body’s full written reasons will be published at a later stage, and both sanctions are open to appeal.
Police Scotland confirmed a few days after the match they were looking into the accusations of racist abuse reported by Kamara and also the criminal complaint Slavia filed against Kamara for the alleged tunnel fracas.
Kudela was given a one-match ‘provisional suspension’ for misconduct last week as UEFA prepared to conclude their investigation but he missed the quarter-final first leg draw with Arsenal through illness and injury anyway.
That one-game ban is included within the overall 10-match sanction.
Rangers striker Kemar Roofe has also been suspended for four European matches after UEFA charged him with ‘assault’ during the same match.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard was left furious by the incident but has now seen Kamara banned
Roofe was sent off during Rangers’ 2-0 home defeat after a poor challenge saw him kick Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar in the face.
Kolar was left with a fractured skull and the governing body has now cited him for ‘dangerously assaulting another player’.
For their part in the fracas on the pitch after the game, Rangers have been fined €9,000 (£7,800) after being found guilty of improper conduct.
UEFA introduced a 10-match ban for discrimination in 2013 and it is the minimum punishment that the organisation’s control, ethics and disciplinary body can issue for racist behaviour.
In August 2019, European football’s governing body took what was described as a ‘rare move’ by banning Kostyantyn Makhnovskyi, a Ukrainian goalkeeper for Latvian side Ventspils, for 10 matches for racism.
It came after unspecified racist conduct by Makhnovskyi in a Europa League second qualifying round game against Gzira in Malta.