UEFA HAND OUT IBROX EUROPA PUNISHMENTS
It is fair to say that the wider football fraternity was aghast after the recent scenes at Ibrox and although Slavia Prague won fair and square on the night, it was a victory that was tainted by the actions of one of their players.
Actions that came courtesy of Ondrej Kudela and after going up to Rangers’ Glen Kamara during a stoppage in the game, the defender was accused of uttering a racist phrase in the ear of the Finnish midfielder.
An act that stunned everyone on the field of play and everyone else who was watching at home and as soon as the final whistle blew, that indignation carried across to the wild west which is currently social media.
It was certainly a frantic game of football and this was evident by the fact that Rangers ended the game with nine men after two separate incidents saw red cards shown to both Kemar Roofe and Leon Balogun.
While although Roofe’s tackle on the Slavia Prague goalkeeper was reckless, there was nothing really in the way of intentional malice. That said, the former Leeds forward had to go for such a nasty challenge, and he has now been handed a four-match ban for his actions.
Of course, what we forget or perhaps what has been overlooked, is that Roofe suffered racist abuse of his own after the game, as the cloak of anonymity afforded to those behind the keyboards, was once again activated by online cowards.
The reason it has been overlooked, is largely because of one professional reportedly abusing another and with Steven Gerrard going on record to say that the punishment would likely not fit the crime, it will be interesting to get the former Liverpool midfielder’s take on UEFA’s latest move.
A move that sees Kudela handed a 10-match ban for the racist remark which was spouted in the direction of Rangers’ Kamara and when you compare this to Kieran Trippier getting the same length ban for a betting offence, you do wonder if the punishment was harsh enough.
Not only that, but Kamara himself has been handed a three-match ban for the way he reacted to the matter and once again, the decision making within UEFA has once again left people scratching their heads as to why.
Ultimately, you cannot give players a free pass to react how they wish on the field or within the confines of a stadium. Then again, if a player has just been racially abused, it is fair to say that their mind is going to be elsewhere.
Therefore, to hand Kamara a punishment of his own is mindboggling at the very least and farcical at the other end of the scale. Then again, for UEFA’s stance on racism, it is always a message that is a very mixed one.
They should at least be commended for handing Slavia Prague’s man in question a lengthy ban, but you get the feeling that it should and could have been far longer, if only to say that such acts are not permitted anywhere within football.