UEFA drop investigation into Sparta Prague over Kamara abuse

Paris (AFP) – Czech club Sparta Prague will not face any action from UEFA over alleged abuse of Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara in a recent Europa League game after a disciplinary investigation by European football’s governing body ruled there was “insufficent evidence”.

“The investigation has now concluded that there was insufficient evidence of racism or discriminatory conduct at the match to warrant the opening of disciplinary proceedings against AC Sparta Praha,” UEFA said in a statement on Friday.

Rangers contacted UEFA about alleged abuse after Kamara was apparently repeatedly booed before being sent off in the 75th minute of the Scottish champions’ 1-0 Europa League defeat against Sparta in the Czech capital on September 30.

The match was initially meant to be played behind closed doors following a separate racist incident when Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni was subjected to abuse from the stands during a Champions League qualifier in August.

However, UEFA relented to allow around 10,000 fans, mainly made up of school-children with some accompanying adults, to attend.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard initially said he was not aware of Kamara, a Finnish international, being booed every time he touched the ball.

However, he later said he was aware of it after reviewing the footage.

The incidents came just months after Kamara was racially abused by Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela in a Europa League game last season.

Czech international Kudela was banned for 10 matches.

Last week the Czech foreign minister said he was seeking an apology from the Scottish Football Association over statements made in the wake of the alleged incident.

Marvin Bartley, a Scottish FA adviser for equality and diversity, tweeted that he was “not shocked in the slightest”.

“What chance do they (the children) have when placed in a bowl with rotten fruit,” Bartley said.

The tweet angered Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek, who summoned British ambassador to Prague Nick Archer and asked him to broker an apology.

“I understand that sports matches bring different emotions… but there are certain limits and they must not turn into xenophobic insults aimed at under-age children,” Kulhanek said.

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