On Thursday, President Miloš Zeman’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, condemned in the UEFA’s disciplinary commission regarding the punishment for Slavia Prague football player Ondřej Kúdela over alleged racism.
“In your submission, the fight against racism has become the fight of the unsuccessful against the successful, the pinnacle of hypocrisy, positive discrimination, and embarrassing undermining with stupid trends,” wrote Mynář, in a nod to the fact that most of the Czech public does not agree with the verdict.
“The SK Slavia Prague team played great and crushed its opponents with quality and fair play. The opponent’s answer was insidious fouls, one of which ended up with a seriously injured goalkeeper Ondřej Kolář,” Mynář states at the beginning of his open letter.
Above all, however, Mynář criticizes Kúdela’s punishment for alleged racist behavior.
“You condemn a decent person without a single piece of evidence. You make it impossible for athletes to fulfill their dream in the European League. All this just to fulfill the perverted expectations of a small group of activists and a club unable to win on the field, all the more so by shouting empty and hurtful phrases about racism,” writes Mynář.
The chancellor also announced that President Zeman is also familiar with the situation.
“He expresses solidarity with all citizens of the Czech Republic who are following this case and are disappointed with the situation,” Mynář stated on behalf of the president.
In the March match in the European League where Slavia played against the Scottish Rangers football club, a dispute arose after Czech goalkeeper Ondřej Kovář was injured by the striker Kemar Roofe, who kicked Kovář in the face. For the brutal foul, Roofe received a ban for four matches. The Scottish club was also fined £9,000 (€10,329) for inappropriate behavior of its players during the match.
Tensions between the players increased, and allegedly, Kúdela, the defender of Slavia, said a racist insult to the Rangers player, Glenn Kamara, who physically attacked him after the match in the presence of the coaches of both teams. For the attack, Kamara got a ban for three matches, while Ondřej Kúdela was penalized for ten matches for alleged racist behavior although the UEFA never produced any actual conclusive evidence that any racist remark was made.
Kamara’s lawyer Aamer Anwar did not hesitate to criticize Mynář’s letter.
“This letter at times borders on insanity, I’d strongly urge the Ppresident to disassociate himself from this ‘rabid’ statement that contradicts and conflicts with the apology issued by Slavia Prague, it will only succeed in inciting more racists to come out of their sewers,” Anwar wrote in an extensive statement on Twitter, among other things.
3/10 This letter at times borders on insanity, I’d strongly urge the President to disassociate himself from this ‘rabid’ statement that contradicts & conflicts with the apology issued by Slavia Prague, it will only succeed in inciting more racists to come out of their sewers pic.twitter.com/4YeLnAIfYd
— Aamer Anwar?✊?#BlackLivesMatter (@AamerAnwar) April 15, 2021
On social media, several other Czech politicians, such as President of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil, criticized the decision of the disciplinary commission. Vystrčil wrote that the UEFA’s decision would only encourage real racists and extremists.
Title image: Slavia’s goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar, center, celebrates with Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela, second right, and Slavia’s David Zima end of the Europa League round of 32 soccer match between Leicester City and Slavia Prague at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, Thursday, Feb 25, 2021. Slavia Prague won 2-0. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)