Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela has been handed a 10-match ban by UEFA for his racist abuse of former Arsenal youngster and Rangers’ man, Glen Kamara, in the previous round of the Europa League.
Kudela picked up an ‘illness’ (before UEFA suspended him anyway) which would have ruled him out of the first leg in London. Scottish police wanted to question the defender when he landed in the UK, regarding his racial abuse of former Arsenal youngster Glen Kamara when they played Rangers in the previous round.
Now, UEFA have left no doubt about how they feel regarding the defender’s actions, handing him a 10-match ban – the minimum they could give him.
Kudela was found guilty of calling Kamara a ‘f***ing monkey’ and the ban will cover games for club and country.
As mentioned, 10 games was the minimum length of ban that UEFA could hand out under their own guidelines and it has been heavily criticised as ‘wildly insufficient’ by the charity Show Racism the Red Card, especially when you consider that Kamara himself was banned for three games for ‘assaulting’ Kudela in the tunnel after the comment.
“Players can wear ‘respect’ on their arms, but without zero tolerance of racist abuse, it stands as an empty gesture.”
Kudela admitted the UEFA charge of using insulting language and was also the subject of another UEFA investigation into the accusations of racism. Ahead of Arsenal’s first leg against Slavia Prague, they opted to not take a knee as their way of ‘standing against racism’ which seemed, at the very least, an odd decision.
Kamara told ITV, “I haven’t paid much attention to what he’s done after this whole incident but I’ve seen their fans, how they’ve reacted and I’ll get (racist) abuse probably every day on Instagram.
“I had so many different emotions and felt like a victim. I just felt like a little boy (when the incident happened). It was a very weird feeling. Hopefully I never have to feel that again. If I could go back I’d walk off the pitch 100 per cent. My manager was trying to get me off the pitch but I couldn’t hear anybody.’
Asked before the first leg about calls for Slavia Prague to be kicked out of the competition if the player was found guilty, Arteta replied, “It would depend on what happens in the investigation and the rules.”