Rangers Slavia Prague issues will cause 'no animosity' in Scotland v Czech Republic showdown

Czech Republic head coach Jaroslav Silhavy has dismissed any notion that there will be animosity between Scotland and his side after the issues that marred Slavia Prague's Europa League win over Rangers.

Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy speaks to his players during a training session at Hampden Park on Sunday (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy speaks to his players during a training session at Hampden Park on Sunday (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Czechs will be without Ondrej Kudela for their Euro 2020 opener at Hampden, the defender having received a 10-match UEFA ban for racially abusing Rangers and Finland midfielder Glen Kamara at Ibrox in March.

There are five Slavia players in the Czech squad as they return to Glasgow three months after a game during which their goalkeeper, Ondrej Kolar, suffered a fractured skull following a high challenge from Kemar Roofe.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

"I believe there is no animosity," Silhavy said. "This will be a sporting fight. We hope to put on a great show for the fans. We don't feel any animosity against Scotland and I believe everything on the pitch will be fair play."

Like Scotland, the Czechs will not take the knee at Hampden. Instead they plan to point to the UEFA Respect inscription on their sleeves to show their support for racial justice while Scotland players stand.

"We want to fully concentrate on football and the sports side of things," Silhavy said.

"I understand that these are important topics for the whole of society, and my team and I obviously condemn any and all displays of racism, but we talked this through back in March, agreed on our own show of support for the fight against racism, and we do not intend to change anything about that decision."

The Czechs have twice lost to Scotland this season in the Nations League, although they pipped their opponents to top spot in their group.

Silhavy missed both games because of Covid-19 issues but he expects to face an even stronger Scotland side.

After picking out Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay and Andy Robertson as the danger men, he said: "Compared with the games we played against them, they are stronger now.

"They run, they know what they are doing, they go straight forward, they send long balls to their strikers and they are really strong, not only in their attack but also their defence.

"But this is the first group game so we will start equal and it can be details that decide the game."

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.