Rangers fans hail Gareth Bale after Wales captain 'elbows race-row Czech Ondrej Kudela in face'

Gareth Bale won a legion of new fans last night after he clashed with Slavia Prague’s race-row defender Ondrej Kudela as Wales faced the Czech Republic on international duty.

Gareth Bale warms up for the Wales v Czech Republic match in a Show Racism the Red Card t-shirt

In a bad-tempered match in Cardiff that both sides finished a man down, Dan James’ late goal was the difference as the hosts recorded a 1-0 victory in the World Cup qualifier.

Connor Roberts saw red for Wales after two bookable offences while Patrik Schick was dismissed after the Czech forward tangled wth Roberts early in the second half.

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But it was an incident five minute from time that caught the attention of most viewers, with a video of the incident making the rounds on social media.

A video grab appears to show Bale catching Kudela in the face with a trailing arm

Kudela has been at the centre of a racism row after allegedly racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara during a Europa League clash at Ibrox earlier this month.

Police Scotland and UEFA are both probing the claims made by the Finnish internationalist as well as a counter-claim by the Czechs, who insist that Kudela did not make any such remark and that Kamara assaulted the player in the aftermath of the powder-keg last 16 tie on March 18.

There had even been doubts that Kudela would travel for the match amid reports he would be quizzed by cops if he returned to the UK and Slavia’s concern for the player’s safety.

But he travelled, and started the match, and was forced off after an aerial clash with Bale towards the end of the fixture. The Tottenham Hotspur forward jumped for an aerial ball with Kudela and appeared to catch the centre-back in the face with a trailing arm, forcing the 34-year-old to be replaced by Antonin Barak.

Kudela and his Czech Republic team-mates declined to take a knee prior to the match, instead pointing to the UEFA “Respect” logo on the sleeve of their shirts, while Bale and his Wales colleagues warmed up wearing "Show Racism the Red Card" t-shirts, and took a knee prior to the start of the match.

Supporters commented on the clash on social media, with one Rangers fan writing: “Bale just elbowed Kudela. Top man, Gareth.”

Another added: “Always liked Gareth Bale” while a third suggested: “Hopefully we bring Gareth Bale up to present the league trophy.”

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