UEFA verdicts in Rangers vs. Slavia case: when words are more than acts

in Sports Talk Social3 months ago (edited)

Hi there my Hivean friends and followers!

This is something I have intended to discuss with you for quite some time already and finally, I have time to do so. Let me take you back in time to March 18, which was the day of the rematch of the Europa League round of 16 tie between Glasgow Rangers and Slavia Prague.


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Image source: Sky Sports


The Czech side won that game 2:0 and qualified for the semi finals but it´s not the result of the game what has been hotly debated by football fans all over Europe since then. A lot of crazy and hard to believe things happened in that match. Frustrated by the forthcoming elimination from the competition, the Scotsmen committed a number of brutal fouls, including a potentially deadly attack by Rangers´ Roofe on Slavia´s goalie Kolar whose skull was broken in the attack.


TALKSPORT-ROOFE-850x560.jpg

Image source: Last Bulletin


There was also intentional stepping on lying Slavia´s players by the home players during the game. Just a few minutes before the end of the extremely heated match, there was a quarrel between Rangers´ Kamara and Slavia´s Kudela, after which Kudela whispered something into Kamara´s ear. Kamara, a Finnish player of African origin, immediately accused Kudela of being racist to him. Kudela denied it.


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Image source: Talk Sport


After the match, the home team made their Czech opponents wait on the pitch and didn´t allow them inside the stadium to change clothes and take shower for about 30 minutes. Then, Kudela was physically attacked and beaten by Kamara in the tunnel, in front of the Rangers´ coach Gerrard. The cameras were allegedly turned off in the tunnel where the incident happened.

So this is just a little summary of what happened in and after the game. A lot of crazy stuff, as I said, I know... However, the consequent verdicts by UEFA were just as shocking as the events of the game, at least to me... Only 3 personal punishments were actually imposed.

For the extremely brutal foul and breaking Kolar´s skull, Roofe got a 4 match ban.
For attacking and beating Kudela in the tunnel, Kamara got a 3 match ban.
For the alleged racist insult whispered into Kamara´s ear, Kudela got a 10 match ban.

The intentional stepping on Slavia´s players and some other offenses by Rangers remained unpunished.

To me, the only possible interpretation of the verdicts by UEFA is that for the current society, words (no matter how bad) are more important than acts (no matter how bad). Now don´t get me wrong please - I am by no means approving racist behavior. I am strongly against racism and if it ever is proved that Kudela´s insult was really racist, I will agree with a strict punishment for him. Still, however, in my book, words will never mean more than acts so I will never get the disproportion in the UEFA punishments in this case...

Your opinions guys?




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Totally agree as taking actions physically onto your own hands should receive more than 3 matches. Depending how bad it was I would expect a 10 match ban as a minimum as if it was a racist comment that riled him he should let the authorities deal with it. Referees are extremely weak and this type of stuff should be sorted out on the pitch.

Exactly. Moreover, I couldn´t believe that Steve Gerrard, whom I liked as a player in Liverpool, was watching the sneaky tunnel attack and did nothing... No matter what happens on the pitch, these cold blooded post match vengeances should be punished so hard that the players never do it again... Thanks for stopping by and for the support, much appreciated!

It's hard to look at that photo of Kolar. What a shocking tackle or you could call it an assault. Absolutely no business having his foot up there when challenging with a keeper. Utter madness. The punishment does indeed seem lenient.

As for the ban for the alleged racist comment, only those two players know exactly what was said and I don't see why Kamara would make it up. The fact it was whispered to makes it all the more sinister. I agree with a 10 match ban if it was racist though, as there is no place for that behaviour in either sport or society.

I do appreciate where you're coming from around words vs physical violence, but i think racism is a whole different ball game and there's no excuse for Kudela's behaviour. I would add though that Kamara had no right to take the law into his own hands either.

Hey man, thank you very much for sharing your opinions. I can see you are from Ireland so it´s good to hear from someone who lives so close to where it all happened :)

As for Roofe, I think the word lenient is understatement. If he did the same thing in normal life in a street or somewhere, he could go to jail for an attempted murder. It had nothing to do with sport at all.

As for Kudela, I agree. The fact that he wispered those words and even covered his mouth indicates that it was probably something really bad and it could indeed be racist. On the other hand, taking the law into anyone´s own hands is just as unacceptable. Just imagine all the crazy things (=types of off-pitch vengeances) it can trigger if not punished exemplarily.

Truly incredible how many crazy things happened in Glasgow that day... Not a good day for football for sure.

Ya you're right. Lenient is indeed an understatement, an absolutely shocking challenge... i had to find a video as a photo doesnt always tell the full story...

One thing I would say is the stiker had his eye on the ball and i don't think it was intentional. Brain dead - yes. Intentional- i don't think so. As such the 4 match ban is probably around right, pehaps 6 matches, but no more than that, as it was accidental.

Well, he knew that the keeper was there and he still put his foot this shockingly high, at full speed...

Ya i hear you. Looking at the after images and the impact shot, it looks terrible and extremely dangerous. I still don't think it was intentional though, just stupid and maybe driven more by adrenaline as he was only after coming on as a sub and wanted to make his mark. Well that's a bad turn of phrase in the circumstances, as he certainly made his mark and one the keeper will wear for the rest of his life.

Thinking again on the ban, i guess it should be more in the region of 6 to 9 matches to deter players from coming in at that height with a raised foot.

Good debate sir 👍

My opinion je, že s tebou v podstatě souhlasim. Ještě bych dodal, že mám takovej pocit, že UEFA se prostě úplně po.... kvůli svý kampani proti rasismu. A nepotrestat ho, by v týhle době prostě z politickýho hlediska vypadalo špatně. Zvlášť když to ten právník a Rangers takhle zmedializovali.

Ale já bych hlavně chtěl vidět od začátku týhle kauzy přímý důkazy. To, že někoho označim za rasistu by z něj ještě rasistu dělat nemělo (byť si o tom osobně žádný velký iluze nedělám, ten dvojzápas byl vyšponovanej a v emocích člověk dělá věci, který by normálně neudělal). UEFA šla ale tou "bezpečnou" cestou z jejich hlediska. Potrestala ho, Kúdela se odvolá někam výš, pokud tam nejsou přímý důkazy a je to tvrzení proti tvrzení, tak nejspíš vyhraje, ale bude mu to prd platný. Zaprvé po tom už neštěkne ani pes v zahraničí a zadruhý už bude v očích fotbalový veřejnosti "ten rasista".

Jo, vidím to velmi podobně. Mimochodem, té oficiální Kúdelově verzi taky moc nevěřím. "Fucking guy" je prostě spojení, které z úst nevypustí ani naprostý začátečník... Podle mě tam ta opice nejspíš skutečně padla, což je samozřejmě špatně a je třeba to potrestat, ale jak jsem psal v článku - prokopnutá lebka nebo ta léčka v tunelu mi přijdou jako mnohem horší věci. Kdyby Roofe udělal tohle kung fu v civilu někde na ulici, šel by normálně sedět za pokus o zabití. Takhle si odkroutí 4 zápasy a jede se vesele dál... Jak říkáš, UEFA se prostě podělala + v dnešní hyperkorektní době je cokoliv, co jen trochu zavání rasismem, pro všechny obrovský strašák... No a pak to ve výsledku dopadá tak, že za neprokázanou rasistickou šeptandu do ouška je násobně větší trest, než za pokus o zabití... Někdy je mi z téhle doby docela smutno :/

It's crazy that UEFA considers words more harmful than kicking someone in the head and breaking their skull. If I was a fan of this league, I would stop watching or buying anything with the UEFA logo on it. I think the Czech team should quit the league in protest.

If there was an alternative to UEFA, quitting would be a good idea. If there is no alternative, they would hurt themselves more than anyone else.

There are actually just 2 international leagues here in Europe - the Europa League and the Champions League. Only the best teams in individual national leagues can qualify for them and that comes with a lot of prestige, attention and money so quitting in protest would mean some significant losses for the team. But I get your point and would still consider it too because the way that Slavia was treated by both the Rangers and then UEFA was really insane...

've never been interested in soccer, but somehow I heard the news about this match too. Obviously, if the words had to be whispered, they weren't pretty, although considering a number of cruel fouls preceding the words, I would give it a pass.

On the other hand, that front kick --- I do not believe it was entirely coincidental. A trained player should have sufficient leg-eye coordination to hit the ball or know not to kick at all. Perhaps, they struck a shadow deal to get bonus money if they eliminate a goalkeeper? The Czech team has no suitable replacement according to articles.

Jo, už jen z té fotky je jasné, že ten borec do toho souboje nešel s úmyslem hrát balon, ale prostě jen zranit gólmana, což je fakt hnus... K té šeptandě jsem se teď vyjádřil v odpovědi na koment od @bodie7 ;)

i don't know, especially because no one knows for sure what he told him, i heard somewhere that he called him a monkey. And my feel is that in countries that had no slaves, was not colonizing other countries and in general had not that much black people living there (why would they live in Serbia or Czechoslovakia) some words were never connected with racisms.
The same like the Romanian ref drama few months before.

That´s right, we don´t know what he actually told him but my point is that even if it was racist, it was still just a word so compared with the deliberate brutal attack on the goalkeeper that could have even killed him, the disproportion in the bans seems absurd to me...

i would even say that a physicals attack in the tunnel should get most games ban.
i seen the goalkeeper thing but i forgot and can't 100% say it was deliberate. and as an Arsenal fan i was pissed off more then once with those reckless fouls.

Well, you can see where his cleats are and where the ball is, this guy had no intention to play the ball... Yeah, that tunnel attack is quite hideous too but it´s "the whisper" that´s been getting all the attention and hate. Actually, when Slavia played the Gunners in the semis, a few of their players (Arsenal) stopped by the injured Slavia goalie to wish him luck and support him. Wonderful gesture.