Czech defender Kudela to miss Wales trip amid 'safety concerns' and ongoing UEFA racism investigation

Slavia Prague have refused to release Ondrej Kudela for the Czech Republic's World Cup qualifying trip to Wales, due to ‘fears over his safety’.

Estonia's forward Rauno Sappinen shoots past Czech Republic's defender Ondrej Kudela to score during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group E football match between Estonia and Czech Republic at the Lublin Stadium, in Lublin, Poland on March 24, 2021. (Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Kudela has been accused of racially abusing Glen Kamara when Slavia beat Rangers at Ibrox in Europa League action on March 18. Slavia and Kudela have denied the claims, while UEFA has launched an investigation.

Slavia have also alleged an assault after the game, which saw the Czech league leaders win 2-0 and filed a criminal complaint through the Czech Embassy and stated they were in direct contact with police in Glasgow. Racism allegations have since been lodged with police.

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Czech Republic will face Wales in Cardiff on Tuesday, but will play without Kudela - his lawyers have said Slavia harbour fears for his safety.

"SK Slavia is supportive of a thorough investigation of all relevant facts and will fully cooperate with Police Scotland and UEFA," read a statement from Pokorny Wagner and Partners.

"Today, Mr Kudela provided UEFA with a full statement regarding the ongoing investigation. The speculation published in the media about the possible arrest of Ondrej Kudela is incorrect.

"Police Scotland have confirmed to SK Slavia's lawyers that the investigations are at an early stage and that Mr Kudela is fully co-operating.

"To aid SK Slavia with co-operating with UEFA and Police Scotland, and out of concern for the safety of Ondrej Kudela, SK Slavia decided in cooperation with the national team management not to release Mr Kudela for the match of the Czech national team in Wales."

The player did feature for his national side’s World Cup qualifier on Wednesday – a 6-2 win over Estonia.

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