Glen Kamara racially assaulted against Slavia Prague and was booed against Sparta Prague on Thursday. Steven Gerrard urged for harsher punishments to combat racism after Glen Kamara was booed during the Rangers’ 1-0 Europa League loss to Sparta Prague.
According to UEFA, Ondrej Kudela, who plays for neighbouring Slavia Prague in April, was accused of “racist behaviour” by the midfielder before being subjected to more reported abuse in Thursday’s game. After Sparta was sanctioned by UEFA for racially insulting Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni, the crowd was restricted to children and their chaperones, but Gerrard stated he could hear boos after seeing a replay of the game.
“I’m fully aware now [of the booing] having watched the game back with audio and I’m actually surprised I wasn’t aware of it during the game,” Gerrard told reporters on Friday. “Sadly, these things keep raising their head far too often and, unfortunately, the punishments are not severe enough.”
Sparta responded with a statement in which they defended their young fans, claiming that their actions had been misread and that the match will go down in Sparta’s history as a positive one. “It is absolutely unbelievable that after a match we have to watch innocent children being attacked and face unfounded accusations of racism,” the statement said.
“Insulting children on the internet and in the media is unacceptable, desperate and ridiculous. Stop attacking our children! Our club will proudly defend our children – our future and our pride. Slandering children on the internet is extremely cowardly. We are seeing unprecedented xenophobic statements against the Czech Republic, its citizens and even its children on social media.”
“You are describing the behaviour of children incorrectly, arrogating to yourself the right to judge the expression of emotions of six-year-old children who have no idea what racism is. It’s an impertinence. This match will go down in the club’s history in a positive sense. We ask the representatives of Rangers to do their part to stop the xenophobic atmosphere directed towards our children, our beautiful country and its inhabitants.”