2021-22 Europa League group stage draw in full
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Sparta Prague have released a strongly-worded statement in response to accusations of racism in Rangers’ 1-0 Europa League defeat on Thursday night. Glen Kamara was jeered by the home supporters, with 10,000 children and their guardians in attendance.
The reason local kids instead of a full capacity crowd were allowed in the stadiums was due to Sparta fans being banned over racist abuse during a Champions League qualifier against Monaco.
But there was still a toxic atmosphere inside the stadium with Steven Gerrard indicating that Kamara was personally affected by the abuse.
However, Sparta Prague have issued a scathing statement in response to accusations of racism from the children in attendance.
The statement read: “We would like to thank Rangers FC for Thursday’s fair sporting contest in the UEFA Europa League.
“It was an honour to welcome to Prague and at our stadium a famous and successful Scottish club, its players, the executive team and members of the management. We are convinced that they were satisfied with the service provided by our club.
“We contributed to Rangers feeling as safe as possible during their stay in the Czech Republic.
“We were involved in ensuring their protection together with the security forces of the state and we took steps that went far beyond the standard procedures for organising international matches.
“It is absolutely unbelievable that after a match we have to watch innocent children being attacked and face unfounded accusations of racism.
“Insulting children on the internet and in the media is unacceptable, desperate and ridiculous.
“Stop attacking our children! Our club will proudly defend our children – our future and our pride. Slandering children on the internet is extremely cowardly.
“We are seeing unprecedented xenophobic statements against the Czech Republic, its citizens and even its children on social media.
“You are describing the behaviour of children incorrectly, arrogating to yourself the right to judge the expression of emotions of six-year-old children who have no idea what racism is. It’s an impertinence.”
Kamara was clearly targeted by a section of the crowd just months after being racially abused by Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela.
And there were loud cheers when Kamara was shown his second yellow card of the night
Rangers boss Gerrard has called for UEFA to step in and do something.
“It is time for the authorities and the club to step in and take that away from us so we can focus on the game on Sunday [at home to Hibernian],” the manager said.
“There are hundreds of thousands and maybe more people disappointed and frustrated because these things keep raising their head far too often and unfortunately the punishments are not enough.”
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