Glen Kamara: Steven Gerrard 'disappointed but not surprised' by booing in Prague and calls for 'more extreme punishments'

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has called on ‘more extreme’ action against racist conduct in football after Glen Kamara was jeered by Czech schoolchildren during the Scottish champions’ Europa League defeat against Sparta Prague.

Sparta Prague's players stand while Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara anddefender Borna Barisic take the knee prior to the start of the UEFA Europa League Group A football match between AC Sparta Praha and Rangers FC (Photo by MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images)
Sparta Prague's players stand while Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara anddefender Borna Barisic take the knee prior to the start of the UEFA Europa League Group A football match between AC Sparta Praha and Rangers FC (Photo by MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Kamara was sent off for two bookable offences 16 minutes from the end of a match played in front of supervised groups of children aged 6 to 14 as part of a UEFA punishment for racist abuse of a Monaco player by Sparta fans earlier this season.

The Finnish international was racially abused by Czech defender Ondrej Kudela last season during Rangers’ Europa League last 16 tie against Slavia Prague.

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Gerrard was unaware of the boos directed at Kamara in the Letna Stadium but expressed his dismay at the situation.

“During the game I haven’t been aware, I’ve just been focused on the game and the tactical changes I was trying to think about to try to get us back in the game as we were trailing,” said Gerrard. “If they’re facts and that is the truth and the case then I’m extremely disappointed - but not surprised.

“If that’s the case and they were targeting Glen, it’s extremely disappointing because the reason there’s a lot of kids in the stadium is because of previous similar incidents.

“There needs to be more done. Not just myself but everyone across the world is asking for more and bigger, better and more extreme punishments in terms of racism. It needs to be eradicated.

“But until the powers that be do more and treat it more seriously - until that happens - we’re going to be dealing with these questions for a long time.”

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