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Racial abuse victim Kamara booed by stadium of Czech schoolchildren

Finland midfielder Glen Kamara was racially abused by Czech player Ondrej Kudela during a club game last season.

Glen Kamara.
Glasgow Rangers and Finland midfielder Glen Kamara. Image: Getty Images

Finnish footballer Glen Kamara was repeatedly booed in a stadium containing mostly schoolchildren in Prague on Thursday, in his first game in the Czech Republic since he was the victim of racist abuse from a Czech international.

The booing took place during his club side Glasgow Rangers' Europa League game against Sparta Prague on Thursday evening.

Last season, Kamara was the victim of racial abuse by defender Ondrej Kudela of Slavia Prague — Sparta's city neighbours — which led to the Czech international receiving a 10-game ban by European football's governing body UEFA.

Kamara received a three-game suspension after he was found guilty by UEFA of assaulting Kudela in the tunnel after the incident.

The game between Sparta and Rangers had been due to be played behind closed doors following a separate charge of racism against Sparta involving French club Monaco’s Aurelius Tchouameni earlier this season.

However, UEFA ruled that about 10,000 schoolchildren — alongside a small number of accompanying adults — could attend.

Several media outlets, including The Guardian and Sky Sports, reported that there was very audible booing whenever Kamara touched the ball.

Kamara's lawyer, Aamer Anwar, released a statement after the game criticising the Czech club over the fans' behaviour towards the Finnish player.

"This evening should be an embarrassment for the Czech side that, despite their fans being banned, it still made little difference that the stadium was filled with 10,000 schoolchildren," the statement said.

"A huge proportion of those children booed Glen's every touch of the ball along with every other black player for Rangers. Tonight shows yet again that Prague has a serious problem with racism and as usual UEFA is nowhere to be seen."

Story continues after the photo.

Glen Kamara.
Kamara and other Rangers players 'took the knee' before the game began in a show of solidarity against racism. Image: Getty Images
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard told a post-match press conference that he didn't notice the boos during the game, but explained he had been focused on coaching the team and making tactical switches.

"If they were targeting Glen, then it’s extremely disappointing," Gerrard said. "If they’re facts and that is the truth, I’m extremely disappointed - but not surprised."

Gerrard added that more needs to be done to tackle racism in the sport.

"Not just myself, everyone across the world is asking for bigger and more extreme punishments in terms of racism. It needs to be eradicated," he said. "But until the powers that be do more and treat it more seriously, we're going to be dealing with these questions for a long time."

Kamara was booked in the first half of the game and received a second yellow card, meaning a red and dismissal from the field, with 15 minutes left to play. Sparta eventually won the game 1-0.

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