Sparta Prague will not be subject to UEFA sanctions after a probe into allegations of racism towards Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara found “insufficient evidence”.
European football’s governing body looked into “potential discriminatory incidents” at the Letna Stadium after Rangers’ black players were booed by fans during the Europa League group stage match.
Midfielder Glen Kamara, who was racially abused by Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela in March, was sent off during the 1-0 loss and appeared to receive more vehement boos than other members of Steven Gerrard’s team.
Sparta supporters were prohibited from entering the stadium following racism directed at Monaco’s Aurelius Tchouameni in August, but around 10,000 schoolchildren and accompanying adults were allowed to attend the game.
The Czech club denied the allegations at the time, claiming it was “desperate and ridiculous” that “innocent children” were being targeted because of the alleged abuse, and even accused Rangers of creating xenophobia.
A statement on UEFA’s website read: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector was appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding potential
discriminatory incidents which allegedly occurred during the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League group stage match between AC Sparta Praha and Rangers FC played on 30 September 2021.
“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.”
Sky Sports News has contacted Rangers for comment following the conclusion of UEFA’s investigation.
After the game on September 30, Aamer Anwar, Kamara’s lawyer, described UEFA as a “disgrace” for failing to clamp down on racism in European football, while Rangers boss Gerrard reiterated the need for stricter punishments concerning instances of discrimination.
Gerrard said after the incident: “Unfortunately the punishment is not enough. I said last night there needs to be more done. It’s the only way it’s going to get eradicated because the punishments are nowhere near severe enough.”
Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek also called for Scottish Football Association equality advisor Martin Bartley to apologise for comments he made about the events in Prague.
In a tweet that included a photo of decaying strawberries, Livingston assistant Bartley said: “The worst thing about the scenes in Prague last night is that I’m not shocked in the slightest!
“In no way is this the fault of the CHILDREN because they’re behaving in a way they see adults do/encourage.
“What chance do they have when placed in a bowl with rotten fruit.”
Sparta Prague will travel to Ibrox on November 25 for the return fixture in Group A.
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Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.