UEFA will not fine Sparta Prague over accusations of racism among its fans

No evidence of discriminatory behavior or racism was found at a recent match between Sparta and the Glasgow Rangers in Prague, the UEFA has concluded.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 16.10.2021 10:00 (updated on 16.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Sparta Prague will not be punished for its fans' behavior towards Glasgow Rangers players at a recent Europe League match in Prague, as no evidence of discriminatory behavior or racism was found, UEFA has announced.

The Rangers leveled accusations of racism at young fans, who were the only spectators allowed at a September 30 match, after they booed the Scottish team's Black midfielder Glen Kamara. Sparta dismissed the accusations, and Czech politicians intervened in the affair.

An inquiry has shown that not enough evidence has been found to prove racist or otherwise discriminatory behavior from spectators during the match. That is why disciplinary proceedings cannot be launched against Sparta, UEFA said.

Due to earier racist behavior by some fans, the only spectators allowed to watch the match in Prague were children accompanied by adults. Kamara was repeatedly booed. British media, the Rangers' coach and Kamara’s lawyer condemned the booing.

Kamara has been unpopular with Czech football fans since March, when he said that Slavia Prague player Ondřej Kúdela had racially abused him during a match. UEFA later banned Kúdela from ten games, though his lawyers said not a single piece of evidence had been submitted to prove racism on his part.

On October 4, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek said the fans' reaction to Kamara had nothing to do with skin color, but only with the spring incident. "There were many players of different nationality and skin color on the football pitch last Thursday, none of them became a target of racist offenses," he said.

Kulhánek spoke to the media after summoning British Ambassador Nick Archer and asking him to tell the Scottish Football Association that the Czech Republic requests an apology or distancing from its consultant for equality and diversity, Marvin Bartley, who said the Czechs were like "rotten fruit."

On Friday, the Foreign Ministry said that the Czech Republic has not yet received any official reaction to Kulhánek's request.

"We have no official reaction, but the minister's request was repeated once again by Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Smolek during a visit to Scotland earlier this week," ministry spokesperson Eva Davidová told CTK. In Scotland, Smolek attended the reopening of the Czech consulate in Edinburgh.

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