Slavia fans denounce racist photo, police are looking for the culprits
Czech News Agency: Prominent Slavia fanclubs have moved to distance themselves from a picture that appears to show a racist message directed at Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara.
Translation of a report by Czech News Agency:
Prominent Slavia fanclubs have moved to distance themselves from a picture that appears to show a racist message directed at Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara. The image was published by anonymous authors on social media in response to Thursday incidents related to the second leg of the Europa League Round of 16 in Glasgow. Following a criminal complaint filed by Slavia, Prague Police are looking for the offenders.
A group of unknown ultras in the picture held a sign with a defamatory message for Kamara. The Finnish midfielder accused Slavia defender Ondřej Kúdela of racist language but provided little evidence to support his claim. The Czech sweeper admitted using foul language but refutes any allegations of racism, a stance supported by the club. Kamara assaulted Kúdela in the tunnel after the game and Slavia say that the incident is noted in the UEFA delegate match report.
Slavia condemned the racist photo and described it, among other things, as betraying the club. “We have received the criminal complaint that Slavia filed with the local police department on Monday. However, we have been investigating the incident on our own initiative since last weekend,” spokesperson of Prague Police Jan Daněk told the Czech News Agency. The authors of the defamatory sign are sought by Slavia as well.
The photo was denounced by the largest Slavia fanbase The North Stand (Tribuna Sever) that has under its wing the kop of the most loyal fans, the fanclub as well as the Slavia Department of Friends (Odbor přátel Slavie). “The North Stand distances itself from the sign. It was not published on official accounts of The North Stand and as such we bear no responsibility. We have no power over the actions of individuals presented on social media, just like other Slavia fan groups,” stated North Stand representatives.
The fanclub fully supports Slavia and we stand behind its management and players. We denounce any form of racism, xenophobia and any other forms of hatred,” published the fanclub on its social media.
Following a home draw, Slavia won 2-0 in Glasgow and progressed into the quarter-finals. Rangers players were left increasingly frustrated over the course of the match and displayed a range of unsportsmanlike behaviour throughout the game. Kemar Roofe committed a horrific foul on goalkeeper Ondřej Kolář who had to leave the pitch with a frontal sinus fracture.
A melee occurred in the 87th minute after yet another robust challenge by a Rangers player. Kamara accused Kúdela of racism after the Czech player whispered something into his ear in the aftermath.
The case landed on the table of a UEFA Spanish investigator who has already contacted Slavia. The investigator is gathering materials and is about to conduct video interviews with the stakeholders. Kúdela has been backed by all teammates, the Slavia coach Jindřich Trpišovský and the Czech national team coach Jaroslav Šilhavý.
Both the Football Association of the Czech Republic (FAČR) and Czech League Football Association (LFA) have called for a just and objective investigation. “The LFA appreciates the performances of Czech clubs in UEFA competitions and regards every good result as a great representation of Czech club football as well as the country. The LFA deems it important that relevant unbiased UEFA bodies properly and thoroughly investigate all incidents during and after the Slavia vs. Rangers match, as well as UEFA to adequately punish guilty parties in case of unequivocal proof of disciplinary offences. This is the only way to prevent meaningless escalation of healthy sports rivalry off the pitch,” reads the LFA statement.
“We denounce racism and xenophobia as well as any political or social prejudice against clubs or players from Central and Eastern Europe,” says the Football Association of the Czech Republic.