Europe’s outrage at UEFA cop out over Kudela

Europe’s outrage at UEFA cop out over Kudela
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stuart Wallace/BPI/Shutterstock 11804817dv Glen Kamara and Bongani Zungu of Rangers confront Ondrej Kudela of SK Slavia Prague after alleged racist remarks at the Rangers players Rangers v Slavia Prague, UEFA Europa League, Round Of 16, Second Leg, Football, Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, UK - 18 Mar 2021

We’re still chewing over the Kamara Kudela fiasco, and more pertinently, UEFA’s bizarre and inconsistent judgement over it.

Rangers have confirmed they’ll appeal the perplexing decisions taken over Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe, but what we wonder is where exactly the anti-racism message goes from here.

Over the past year the issue has been in the spotlight more than ever – while the BLM movement and The Knee were ultimately left-field agenda-driven extreme movements, the one good thing to come out of them both is a massively increased awareness of racism, and the impact it has.

In short, over the past year, thanks to more and more ethnic minority athletes and celebrities highlighting the racial abuse they get daily (something raised initially in profile by Raheem Sterling who was a hugely influential voice in all this well before anyone knew who George Floyd was) the impact of it has become real.

It’s become significant, and no one can or should be able to escape the attention being drawn to that.

That’s real progress, and thankfully most campaigns now centre on all kinds of racism and prejudice, and not just a single one.

But UEFA’s judgement yesterday, the first serious high-profile sporting case to get the spotlight since BLM began over a year ago, a chance for Europe’s governing body to truly show that racism is serious and will not be tolerated, and what do they do?

Cop out. And a very dangerous one.

This was UEFA’s big moment to strike while the iron was hot, and produce a serious punishment for Ondrej Kudela, one which would send out a big message – and they absolutely flubbed it.

It’s utterly ridiculous that in this climate, UEFA, the biggest champions of the fight against racism completely drop the ball with their big chance to actually drive the message home.

Simply, ludicrously, and pathetically disgraceful.

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