Injured Kudela to miss Arsenal game after racism allegation

Prague (AFP) – Slavia Prague said on Tuesday their centre-back Ondrej Kudela, investigated by UEFA and Police Scotland over alleged racism, would miss Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final first leg at Arsenal with a nose injury.

Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara accused Kudela of racially abusing him during the teams’ last-16 tie at Ibrox last month.

Slavia, who won 3-1 on aggregate to advance to the quarter-finals, have denied the claims, instead saying they would file a criminal complaint against Kamara for allegedly attacking Kudela after the game.

UEFA and Police Scotland have yet to decide on the case.

“We don’t expect him to help us at Arsenal,” Slavia spokesman Michal Bycek told Czech TV.

Slavia said in a statement Kudela had “a bruised nose” and “high fever”.

Czech media said Kudela had suffered the injury during the Czech Republic’s World Cup qualifier against Wales last week after a challenge by Gareth Bale.

Slavia are also missing two other defenders, with Simon Deli contracting Covid-19 and David Hovorka injured.

But the team is flying to London with goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar, who suffered a skull fracture after a high challenge from Rangers striker Kemar Roofe at Ibrox.

If he plays, Kolar will be wearing a Petr Cech-style helmet and a kevlar face mask to protect his head.

Slavia were reluctant to let Kudela travel to Cardiff for the Czech Republic’s game in Wales last week over safety concerns, but he did eventually play.

Czech media cited a Slavia source as saying the club was worried some Rangers fans might travel to Wales seeking revenge.

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