Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela gets 10-match Uefa ban for racial abuse of Glen Kamara

Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela has been banned for 10 matches by Uefa after being found guilty of racist behaviour towards Rangers’ Glen Kamara at Ibrox in the Europa League last month.

A one-match provisional suspension given to Kudela last week was included in the sanction, European football’s governing body said. Uefa also banned Kamara for three matches after finding he assaulted Kudela in the tunnel after the game. Rangers intend to appeal against Kamara’s suspension, which they described as “severe”.

Kamara was incensed after Kudela whispered into his ear during the match on 18 March. Kudela denied racism. Kamara’s account was supported by his Rangers teammate Bongani Zungu and Uefa’s control, ethics and disciplinary body has found Kudela guilty of using racist language.

The Uefa body’s full written reasons will be published at a later stage, and both sanctions are open to appeal.

Kudela’s ban rules him out of representative team competition matches, meaning he will miss Czech Republic games at the European Championship. Kamara’s ban covers only Uefa club competitions, leaving him eligible to represent Finland at the finals.

Kudela said, via his lawyers, that he was “startled” by the ruling, because the investigator did not gather any convincing evidence of his alleged racism.

Slavia chairman Jaroslav Tvrdik said in a statement: “We respect the decision. In any case, Ondrej Kudela should not have approached the opposition player. I deeply regret that and apologise to Glen Kamara for a situation that has clearly caused distress to him and his teammates, as well as everyone associated with Slavia and Rangers. I am taking positive steps to prevent such a situation from happening in our club ever again.”

Kamara’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said the 10-game ban for Kudela – the minimum sanction for a racist offence – “made a mockery” of Uefa’s claims to take racism seriously and that it had “disappointed” his client. Anwar said he had wanted a “minimum year-long ban”. Show Racism the Red Card described Uefa’s sanction as “wildly insufficient”.

Rangers said they welcomed Kudela’s ban. “This not only vindicates Glen Kamara’s evidence but underlines the severity of the comment,” a statement said. But the club criticised as “severe” suspensions given to Kamara and Kemar Roofe, banned for four games after a red card for a high-boot challenge on Ondrej Kolar which left the Slavia goalkeeper with a fractured skull.

“We have written to Uefa, seeking clarification in writing on the basis that we intend to appeal the suspensions on both of players,” Rangers said. Anwar said Kamara’s ban had been reduced from a proposed five matches.

Kudela said something to Kamara while covering his mouth, and on Wednesday the former Netherlands international Clarence Seedorf told a Council of Europe meeting on combatting hate speech: “If I want to [cover my mouth to] talk to my coach or a teammate, all fine, but when I approach the referee or another player in any sport, you are not allowed to cover your mouth, it has to be a sanction, a yellow card.”