UEFA has launched an investigation into the match between Prague’s Sparta and the Rangers in the European Football League due to possible discriminatory behavior by spectators.
Allegations of racism were made by a Scottish club that did not like the roar of children’s fans against Finnish dark-skinned midfielder Glenn Kamara. Sparta rejected the allegations published in foreign media and on the Internet. Czech politicians also intervened in the case.
Sparta had its stadium closed for the match against the Rangers due to the racist behavior of some supporters of Monaco midfielder Aurelius Tchouameni in the August match of the 3rd preliminary round of the Champions League.
Thanks to the UEFA exception, however, 10,879 children aged six to 14 with an escort could enter the auditorium. Their humming and whistling accompanied Kamar’s every contact with the ball and culminated in the second half, when the midfielder was eliminated after the second yellow card.
The Finnish national team has been an unpopular figure among Czech football fans since the March eight finals of the European League against Slavia, after which he accused defender Ondřej Kúdel of racist insult. UEFA subsequently punished the Czech national team by banning them from starting in ten matches, although, according to the player’s lawyers, not a single piece of evidence that he had committed racism has yet been submitted. Kúdela lost, among other things, the start to the European Championships.
In the current case, the main rival Slavia and the chairman of the Football Association of the Czech Republic Petr Fousek sided with Sparta. Scottish verbal attacks on children’s fans and the Czechia outraged domestic politicians.
Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek (CSSD) summoned British Ambassador Nick Archer on Monday. He called on the ambassador to interpret to the Scottish Football Association a request for an apology or a clear distance from Marvin Bartley, an adviser on equality and diversity, who described the Czechs as “spoiled fruit”.