The Czech foreign minister has summoned British Ambassador Nick Archer following a critical tweet over a racism row that emerged from Glasgow Rangers’ Europa League match against Sparta Prague.
Czech Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek made the demand of Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek, which has now been realized, to “immediately halt such attacks” while insisting that Czechs are neither racist nor “rotten fruit.”
Hamacek retweeted an outburst from the Equality And Diversity Advisor To The Scottish FA, Marvin Bartley, who wrote: “The worst thing about the scenes in Prague last night is that I’m not shocked in the slightest!”
Bartley was referring to what took place in Rangers’ 1-0 defeat to Sparta in the Czech capital, where Glen Kamara was booed throughout the match by home support that contained some 10,000 children after taking the knee, and was eventually sent off in the 74th minute for a second yellow card.
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.
— Marvin Bartley (@dothebartman1) October 1, 2021
Indirectly agreeing with Bartley, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard remarked that he was “extremely disappointed but not surprised” at the behavior and added that “there needs to be more done” to curb such incidents.
“In no way is this the fault of the CHILDREN because they’re behaving in a way they see adults do/encourage,” went on Bartley.
“What chance do they have when placed in a bowl with rotten fruit?” he signed off, alongside a thumbs down emoji next to UEFA’s name and a picture of some strawberries well past their sell-by date.
It is these words that Hamacek has taken offense at, while at the same time the scorer of the winner in the 29th minute, David Hancko, claimed that the atmosphere inside the Letna Stadium was “excellent” and “positive” and believed that the children “will not forget that evening for a long time.”
Tweeting on the incident, Czech Foreign Minister Kulhanek wrote: “Enough! Intentionally spread, disgusting insults against Czech children in the media and on the internet do not belong to football and even less so to good relations between two countries.”
Rangers manager Gerrard confirmed that Rangers have already put the wheels in motion with an official complaint to UEFA, and says the only way that racism is going to be eradicated is if more is done to tackle the problem.
But just like Hamacek, Sparta have gone on the defensive by saying they “will proudly defend our children”.
Furthermore, they have asked Rangers to “do their part to stop the xenophobic atmosphere directed towards our children, our beautiful country and its inhabitants.”
It is the second time in just over six months that Kamara has received abuse from a team based in the Czech capital.
In April, Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela received a 10-match ban for allegedly whispering “racist language” into the Finnish international’s ear, with Kamara punished with a three-match ban for attacking him in the tunnel.
Kudela denied the claims and was supported by officials and a number of his teammates.
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