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Czech Foreign Minister wants apology after Marvin Bartley’s ‘rotten fruit’ tweet

Livingston FC Headshots 2020/2021- Tony Macaroni Arena
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

The Czech Foreign Minister has urged the Scottish Football Association to apologise  for remarks made by Marvin Bartley following Rangers’ trip to Prague last week.

Jakub Kulhanek hit out at the SFA’s equality advisor for his comments following the Gers’ Europa League defeat against Sparta Prague, where Glen Kamara was booed by a 10,000 crowd consisting overwhelmingly of schoolchildren.

In a tweet which included a photo of decaying strawberries, Livingston assistant Bartley said: “The worst thing about the scenes in Prague last night is that I’m not shocked in the slightest!

“In no way is this the fault of the CHILDREN because they’re behaving in a way they see adults do/encourage.

“What chance do they have when placed in a bowl with rotten fruit.”

On his official website Kulhanek revealed he had summoned the British Ambassador to relay his feelings to the SFA.

He said: “I understand that sports matches bring various emotions that can be transferred off the field.

“However, even that has its limits and must not grow into xenophobic insults aimed at minors.

“Therefore, I asked for an apology or a clear distance from the person who publicly uttered the comparison of Czech children to rotten fruit.

“I summoned the ambassador today to interpret my request to the Scottish Football Association.”

The treatment meted out to Kamara came months after Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela was given a 10-match UEFA ban for racially abusing the Ibrox midfielder.

Kamara, who received a three-match suspension after he was found guilty by UEFA of assaulting Kudela in the Ibrox tunnel in March, was sent off to huge cheers on Thursday after receiving two yellow cards.

The Letna Stadium was originally meant to be closed following a separate racist incident when Monaco’s Aurelius Tchouameni was subjected to abuse from the stands last season but UEFA agreed that the schoolchildren with some accompanying adults would be allowed in.

A statement on the official British Embassy Prague Twitter account read: “The British government condemns racism and xenophobia in all their forms.

“Incidents during football matches should be dealt with by UEFA. At a meeting with @jakubkulhanek The British Ambassador undertook to submit a request for an apology to the Scottish Football Association and expressed its determination to further strengthen the Flag of the United Kingdom (and) Flag of the Czech Republic.”