PRAGUE: Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela (pix) has been banned for 10 matches for "racist behaviour" in their Europa League last-16 match against Scottish side Rangers last month, European soccer's governing body UEFA said on Wednesday.
Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara complained of being racially abused by Kudela in the game, when the Scottish club was knocked out in the second leg, which included a melee on the pitch and clashes in the tunnel afterwards.
Kudela's ban also rules him out of representative team competition matches, meaning he will miss games for the Czech Republic in the European Championship this year.
Kamara has been suspended for three UEFA club competition games for assaulting another player, following an investigation into the incident conducted by a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector.
Finland international Kamara was furious after Slavia's Kudela leaned into his ear and said something while covering his mouth, sparking the fracas in the final stages of the match in Europe's second-tier club competition.
Kudela had said in a Slavia statement the swore at a Rangers player after being fouled, but denied using racist language. His club also alleged that Kudela was assaulted by Kamara after the game and have officially complained to Scottish police.
UEFA said in a statement on Wednesday that Kudela's ban includes the one-match provisional suspension served by the player during Slavia's Europa League quarterfinal first leg against Arsenal this month.
Rangers forward Kemar Roofe, who was also subjected to racial abuse on social media after being shown a red card for a high-boot challenge on Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar, was banned for four games.
Rangers, who were knocked out of the Europa League following a 3-1 aggregate loss after having two players sent off, were fined €9,000 for improper conduct.
Kamara said earlier this month that he was subjected to racist abuse online every day since his confrontation with Kudela.
Rangers said in a statement on Wednesday that they had met with Facebook and Instagram to hold constructive dialogue with the social media firms seeking better protection for players. – Reuters