Slavia Prague’s thrashing of nine-man Rangers at Ibrox was overshadowed by a bias charge levied by Steven Gerrard and the Scottish champions against visiting defender Ondrej Kudela.
During an 87th-minute break in play, Kudela approached Glen Kamara, covering his lips, and spoke into the Rangers midfielder’s ear. Long after the final whistle, officials from both clubs – including Gerrard and his counterpart, Jindrich Trpisovsky – were engaged in a spirited debate by the edge of the Ibrox ground. Gerrard later appeared, still disturbed, to justify his side of the story.
Gerrard confirmed the supposed racial remark, saying, “Glen Kamara to me is one of my own.” Despite the allegation, I completely accept what he said. Other players around him heard that, so I’ll go toe-to-toe with Glen Kamara and deal with it however Glen wishes. I am proud of all of my players for demonstrating unity, and from the top to the bottom of this club, we stand behind the players. Uefa now has control over the case. I just hope it doesn’t get swept under the rug.
“I am enraged. It’s difficult to put into words how I feel right now because I know Glen and have complete faith in him. It’s disappointing.”
Trpisovsky did not take part in the postgame press conference. “All I can confirm is that my player has told me that he was racially abused,” Rangers boss John Tortorella said. “I called Glen over during the game, but he didn’t come over. I was about to ask him if he wanted to leave the ground, and I would have supported him regardless of his decision, but the players stayed, and that was their decision, and the game ended.
“This is now out of my hands and will be handled by Uefa. I just hope that people live with it because that case was out of the ordinary. Why should I close my mouth and go to my ear if I try to say something to you on a football field? The game is over in terms of the outcome at the moment – we have nine players, they are up 2-0, there is no need for it. What irritates me is that people are pretending to protect the opposing player.”