Ondrej Kudela fails to overturn 10-match ban for racially abusing Glen Kamara

Ondrej Kudela file photo
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela will miss Euro 2020 after UEFA rejected his appeal against a 10-game ban for racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara.

The Czech Republic international had hoped to play a part in this summer’s tournament, which will see Jaroslav Silhavy’s team take on Scotland at Hampden in their Group D opener on June 14.

But European football’s governing body has stood firm on its punishment after finding Kudela guilty of shouting a racial slur into Kamara’s ear during an explosive Europa League tie at Ibrox in March.

“The appeal lodged by Mr Ondrej Kudela has been dismissed,” UEFA said in a statement.

“Consequently, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body’s (CEDB) decision of 14 April 2021 is confirmed.

“The CEDB had decided to suspend Slavia Praha player, Mr Ondrej Kudela, for the next 10 UEFA club and representative team competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible to play, for racist behaviour.”

Rangers insisted Kamara had been “vindicated” by UEFA’s original decision to ban Kudela when it was announced in April.

But the Finland international’s lawyer Aamer Anwar accused UEFA of issuing a “token” punishment after calling for Kudela to be kicked out of football for a year.

That is a stance he has reiterated even though he welcomes news Kudela’s appeal has been rejected.

He tweeted: “Whilst the decision of @UEFA to uphold the 10-match ban against Kudela for his racist abuse of @GlenKamara4 is welcomed – the ban smacks of tokenism & in reality UEFA has failed to take any real action against racism, meanwhile my client is yet to receive a full apology.”

He added on Sky Sports: “This club needs to look at itself and also UEFA needs to look at itself.

“Add the conduct of the fans, add the conduct of the club, and the fact the club has still not issued a fulsome apology to Glen Kamara – that is the very least Glen deserves.

“They should have a minimum one-year ban for players when it comes to this and they should be fining clubs substantial amounts so it actually damages the pocket.

“UEFA is like an oil tanker that would take hours or days to shift but if, for instance, somebody is setting up a Super League UEFA will move almost instantaneously and threaten all sorts of punishments and sanctions.

“When it comes to racism it’s very tokenistic – it’s take the knee, fly the banner, put up a slogan and think that’s it, job done. It’s not job done.”

The last-16 clash at Ibrox on March 18 exploded into controversy when Kudela allegedly called Kamara a “f****** monkey” just moments before the full-time whistle.

The claims were corroborated by Kamara’s team-mate Bongani Zungu, but Kudela insisted he was innocent, maintaining he had only said: “You f****** guy”.

Kudela has already served a one-game ban against quarter-final opponents Arsenal.

But he will now have to sit out this summer’s European Championship, which will see the Czechs take on Steve Clarke’s Scots and Croatia at Hampden before travelling to Wembley to play England.

Silhavy, whose team will be based at Scotland’s Oriam National Performance Centre on the outskirts of Edinburgh for the tournament, has been waiting for the outcome of the appeal before finalising his 26-man squad.

Speaking earlier this week, he said: “We still have hope Ondrej Kudela can play. I believe it makes sense to wait until the last possible moment to name the squad.

“I have three defenders on standby, where I will choose one if he is unavailable.”

Kamara has also been banned for three matches after being found guilty of assaulting Kudela in the tunnel after the game.

However, his suspension only covers UEFA club competitions, meaning the 25-year-old will be eligible to represent Finland at the Euros.

His Rangers team-mate Kemar Roofe also failed with an appeal against the four-match suspension he received for a horror tackle on Ondrej Kolar which left the Slavia keeper with a fractured skull.

The Rangers first team were joined by boss Steven Gerrard in a social media boycott after the incident unleashed a wave of racial abuse online.

A Police Scotland investigation into Kudela’s actions and events in the tunnel after the match is ongoing.

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