Glen Kamara racism row escalates as Sparta Prague attack 'xenophobic' criticism of young fans' conduct towards Rangers midfielder
The Czech club, who have a lengthy UEFA charge sheet for racist conduct by their supporters in recent years, hit back in the row over Kamara being targeted during Thursday’s Europa League match in Prague.
The crowd was restricted to supervised groups of schoolchildren aged 6 to 14 after UEFA sanctioned Sparta for racist abuse of Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni in a Champions League qualifier earlier this season.
In a lengthy statement, Sparta insist the actions of their young fans were misinterpreted and take aim at Kamara’s high profile lawyer Aamer Anwar who represented the Rangers midfielder after he was racially abused last season by Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela, resulting in a 10-match ban for the Czech defender.
“We would like to thank Rangers FC for Thursday's fair sporting contest in the UEFA Europa League,” said Sparta.
“It was an honour to welcome to Prague and at our stadium a famous and successful Scottish club, its players, the executive team and members of the management. We are convinced that they were satisfied with the service provided by our club.
“We contributed to Rangers FC feeling as safe as possible during their stay in the Czech Republic.
“We were involved in ensuring their protection together with the security forces of the state and we took steps that went far beyond the standard procedures for organising international matches.
“It is absolutely unbelievable that after a match we have to watch innocent children being attacked and face unfounded accusations of racism. Insulting children on the internet and in the media is unacceptable, desperate and ridiculous.
“Stop attacking our children! Our club will proudly defend our children - our future and our pride. Slandering children on the internet is extremely cowardly.
“We are seeing unprecedented xenophobic statements against the Czech Republic, its citizens and even its children on the social medias. You are describing the behaviour of children incorrectly, arrogating to yourself the right to judge the expression of emotions of six-year-old children who have no idea what racism is. It's an impertinence.
“Sadly, we have to read the desperate attacks of lawyer Aamer Anwar, who goes beyond what a lawyer should be allowed to do. In the Czech environment, his conduct would have been dealt with by the Bar Association by now.
“His activism and online bullying should be dealt with by the relevant institution in Scotland. Inciting xenophobic tendencies and verbal attacks on defenceless children are beyond the pale of morality and decorum.
“Finally, on behalf of the club's board, players, coaches and all staff, we would like to thank the children for a wonderful and unique atmosphere. Thank you, we love you. The parents who made it possible for their sons and daughters to attend, as well as the coaches and teachers who came to Letná stadium as supervisors and contributed significantly to the smooth organization of the match, also deserve our thanks and respect.
“This match will go down in the club's history in a positive sense. We ask the representatives of Rangers FC to do their part to stop the xenophobic atmosphere directed towards our children, our beautiful country and its inhabitants.”
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