Rangers star Glen Kamara has revealed what Slavia Prague captain Ondrej Kudela allegedly told him during an explosive mid-game incident this week, urging UEFA and social media bosses to do more while blasting them over “tokenism”.
Shocked midfielder Kamara has revealed the extent of the “vile abuse” he says he received from Kudela on Thursday in the Europa League, reacting after Slavia denied the “disgusting accusation” and launched criminal action over the alleged fight that saw police called to Rangers’ Ibrox home afterwards.
At the close of the 2-0 defeat by the Czechs which knocked the Scottish champions out of Europe’s secondary club competition, players from both sides were involved in angry clashes in the tunnel – and Rangers captain Connor Goldson has also elaborated on the row while claiming that black players are used as “pawns” to make money.
Revealing that Ondrej told him “you’re a f***ing monkey, you know you are” while covering his mouth in the middle of the fracas, Kamara mentioned the Black Lives Matter-inspired gesture of taking the knee that has been prevalent in football since the summer, saying it was an action “in solidarity with those who have lost their lives to racial violence”.
I’m embarrassed that you had to suffer the abuse last night, and shocked that Slavia are trying to cover it up.You’re absolutely right that all the anti-racist slogans etc mean nothing if the authorities don’t deal with this severely. We’re all with you 💙
— Bruce Burns (@brucers9) March 19, 2021
In Kamara’s view, UEFA must stop its “tokenism” and “take a zero tolerance approach” if it truly wishes to eradicate racism from the game.
He also criticized the “likes of Instagram” after revisiting the “tirade of racist bile” that teammate Kemar Roofe received on social media platforms.
“As a player, I do not expect myself, nor any other player, to have to tolerate racial hatred on or off the pitch in 2021,” said Kamara.
“The vile racist abuse by Ondrej Kudela took place on the international stage and any failure to act by Uefa will be viewed as a green light for racism.
“Kudela was arguing with a Rangers player and, after I tried to intervene, he told me to shut up and then said, ‘one second, my friend’.
“He then came over to me covering his mouth, leaning into my ear. He uttered the words, ‘you’re a f***ing monkey – you know you are.’
“I was shocked and horrified to hear such racist abuse from a professional football player. Kudela’s claim he simply swore at me and said ‘you’re a f***ing guy’ is a complete and utter lie, which does not stand up to any form of scrutiny.
“Kudela’s actions were deliberate and premeditated, but he was loud enough for my teammate, Bongani Zungu, to hear what was said.”
Kamara praised his teammates and manager Steven Gerrard for their unconditional support, with skipper Goldson explaining his rage to Sky Sports in the aftermath.
“I’m really proud of the way the club handled it, but I don’t think I’ve ever had hatred on a football pitch like I did yesterday,” said Goldson.
One mistimed tackle does not justify any type of racism.
— Matty 🇫🇴 (@AIfaMatt) March 19, 2021
“I’ve never really been angry on a football pitch to that extent, but I genuinely despise [Slavia].
“Me and the whole team waited for them in the tunnel for a whole 45 minutes and they didn’t come in.
“I’m proud of every single teammate, every member of staff in this football club. I respect them 100 percent because they didn’t try and usher us away because the club might get in trouble.
“This is beyond football. There’s so much speech about how to eradicate it, how it’s getting better, but it’s not getting better at all – it’s getting worse.
“You come into the changing room after the game and you see boys with monkey or banana emojis all over their social media, getting called words that a white person could never imagine being called. It’s horrible.
“As black players, we’re used as pawns in an industry to make money. I feel that’s all that we are and the representatives won’t do enough, they never have done enough. It’s horrible to see.”
Bizarrely, many Slavia fans on social media tried to divert attention away from the allegations by pointing to a horrendous challenge by Roofe that left goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar with a fractured skull.
“One mistimed tackle does not justify any type of racism,” replied a Rangers supporter.