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Rangers: Steven Gerrard says Glen Kamara racially abused by Slavia player

Rangers' players were left incensed by a comment made to Glenn Kamara by Ondrej Kudela

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was left “angry and upset” after midfielder Glen Kamara told him he was racially abused during his side’s Europa League defeat by Slavia Prague at Ibrox on Thursday.

Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela said something to Kamara while covering his mouth amid a melee in the final stages.

“My player tells me he was racially abused,” Gerrard said.

In a statement, Slavia said Kudela admitted swearing at Kamara but denied the “disgusting accusation” of racism.

Rangers players confronted Kudela and Gerrard got involved with his opposite number.

“The disappointing thing is that their people are trying to defend their player and calling us liars,” said Gerrard in the immediate aftermath of the game, which Rangers lost 2-0 to exit 3-1 on aggregate.

“I feel angry. I know Glen and trust him 100%. The Slavia player has caused this and something needs to happen quickly but that is above me. But whatever happens, I stand next to Glen.

“I don’t even feel like talking about football just now. It’s over to Uefa now and I just hope it doesn’t get pushed under the carpet.”

Gerrard said that he asked Kamara at the side of the pitch if he wanted to continue or walk off.

“He said to me after the game he wasn’t thinking straight,” the Rangers manager explained. “He wanted to carry on, he was obviously very upset.”

After the game, Gerrard was seen speaking with Slavia coach Jindrich Tripisovsky and Uefa delegates as he appeared to seek an explanation.

Asked about what he would like to see Uefa do about the incident, Gerrard said: “I think what I want to happen and what will happen will be different.

“Too much of this is still in the game. A lot of people are working extremely hard to eradicate it from the game. I feel angry and upset myself.”

In their statement, Slavia added that Kudela was reacting to one of the “brutal tackles” the team faced, citing a facial injury suffered by goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar that led to Kemar Roofe being sent off. Rangers finished the game with nine men.

“Slavia players faced an unprecedentedly malicious play from their opponents. They have never experienced such play in any game they participated in the modern history of the European competitions,” read the statement.

“After the end of the game, the team was not allowed to enter the dressing room.

“Ondrej Kudela was assaulted by player Kamara and hit with fists in the head with manager Steven Gerrard witnessing the incident”, the statement claimed.

“Even the Uefa representatives who were also present on the site of the incident were shocked by this behaviour.”

A Uefa spokesperson said the governing body “is aware of an incident which occurred in the tunnel after the match and which involved some players of both teams.

“We are waiting to receive detailed reports of the match officials who were present at the game before commenting further.”

Uefa is also awaiting reports regarding the alleged racist abuse.

Meanwhile, Rangers striker Roofe was subjected to racial slurs on Instagram after the match.

Roofe shared the abusive messages and commented: “I could be up all night screenshotting all of these types of comments. @europaleague.”

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BBC Sport – Sport

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