'Prague has a serious problem with racism': Kids boo Kamara at Sparta match

In a Europa League game originally scheduled to take place without fans,10,879 children were allowed into the stadium with an escort.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 01.10.2021 09:09:00 (updated on 01.10.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Thursday night saw the return of the Glasgow Rangers football club to Prague Sparta's Letná Stadium for the first time since midfielder Glen Kamara accused Slavia Prague defender Ondřej Kúdela of racial abuse in March.

The Europa League game was originally scheduled to take place behind closed doors as Sparta had been given a stadium ban for their fans' racist chant towards Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni in a separate incident last season.

UEFA eased its initial ruling by allowing some 10,000 children to watch the club's latest home game. It didn't end well for the Scottish team on a number of levels.

Sparta defeated Rangers 1-0 in Thursday's match, with Kamara being sent off in the second half after receiving a second yellow card.

Prior to that, the Finnish national from Sierra Leone was booed by Sparta fans whenever he gained possession of the ball. The jeers became cheers when Kamara left the game for good.

Rangers coach Steven Gerrard criticized both UEFA and the Prague club, saying, "Tonight the punishment was meant to be a fine and a behind-closed-doors match where you don't play in front of any people. It's near enough a full house so they're not getting punished."

He added, "It's not the first time there have been issues in this place. The powers that be don't do enough."

Kamara's lawyer, Aamer Anwar, released a statement criticizing the home team as well as UEFA and praising his client for exhibiting grace under fire.

"Glen and the Rangers players have shown total class, but no player should have to face this at their work and on the European stage."

He went on to call the incident an embarrassment for the Czech team. "Despite their fans being banned, it still made little difference that the stadium was filled with 10,000 schoolchildren."

"A huge proportion of those children booed Glen's every touch of the ball along with every other black player for Rangers. Tonight shows yet again that Prague has a serious problem with racism and as usual UEFA is nowhere to be seen."

On Twitter, a number of commenters who watched or attended the match argued that this statement was inaccurate in that not all Black players were booed.

Slavia Prague’s Ondřej Kúdela was banned for 10 matches by UEFA after being found guilty of racist behavior towards Rangers’ Glen Kamara at Ibrox in the Europa League in March.


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Slavia Prague claimed that Kúdela was subsequently assaulted by Kamara after the end of the game and that the team was blocked from entering the dressing room. Kamara received a three-game ban for the assault.

Sparta has yet to respond to Anwar's statement, although iDnes.cz and other Czech media report that the atmosphere in the stadium was positive and that the children, ages ranging 6-14 were simply jeering an unpopular player regardless of his skin color.

The server's sports section quotes Sparta player Dávid Hancko, who scored the only goal of the match, saying he was moved by the experience. 

"I realized that this was something I had never experienced in my life. Thank you very much to all the children. The atmosphere was great, really positive. "

Coach Pavel Vrba was similarly overcome. "I want to thank UEFA for allowing children to be here. They created a fantastic atmosphere. "

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