UK media calling Czech children ‘racist’ prompts Czech foreign minister to summon British ambassador

Jakub Kulhanek, Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/Pool Photo via AP)
By Karolina Klaskova
4 Min Read

Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek will summon the British ambassador over insults of Czech children in the British media and on the internet after the Sparta Prague football match with the Glasgow Rangers. Kulhánek wrote this on Twitter.

Due to the previous racist behavior of some fans, only children who were accompanied by adults could watch the European League match at the Sparta Stadium on Thursday, and they repeatedly booed the football player Glen Kamara. The British media, coach of the Rangers, and Kamara’s lawyer then condemned the behavior of child spectators and accused them of racist behavior.

Rangers’ Glen Kamara, right, fouls Sparta’s Michal Sacek to get a second yellow card during the Europa League Group A soccer match between Sparta Prague and Rangers in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The deliberate spreading of disgusting insults of Czech children in the media and on the Internet does not belong in football nor in good relations between the two countries, Kulhánek wrote.

“I will summon the British ambassador and discuss the whole matter with him,” he added.

Rotten fruit

Kulhánek faced calls to summon the UK ambassador from Czech officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček. On Twitter, the Czech interior minister called the statement of Marvin Bartley, an adviser to the Scottish Football Association for Equality and Diversity, a disgusting attack. Bartley wrote that it was by no means the fault of children because they behave in a way they see adults.

“What chance do they have when placed in a bowl with rotten fruit,“ he added, adding a photo of rotten strawberries.

“Czechs are not rotten fruit nor a nation of racists,” Hamáček responded. “I called on Jakub Kulhánek to summon the British ambassador as soon as possible and demand an immediate end to these attacks.”

Football clubs condemn attacks on child fans

The football club Sparta also strongly opposed attacks on its child fans.

\”It is unbelievable that after the match we must monitor the attacks on innocent children and face unfounded accusations of racism. Offending children in the online space and in the media is unacceptable, desperate, and ridiculous,“ wrote Sparta, condemning the behavior of the team and the media after the match.

Rangers’ Glen Kamara kneels before the start of the Europa League Group A soccer match between Sparta Prague and Rangers in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

“Stop attacking our children! Our club will proudly defend children, our future, and our pride. Finger-pointing at children on the web is extremely cowardly,“ wrote Sparta. The Prague Club asked Rangers representatives to help stop the xenophobic atmosphere towards children and the Czech Republic. Sparta’s statement was also supported by its main rival, Slavia.

In March, during the round of the European League in Glasgow against Slavia Prague, Kamara announced that a racist remark had been directed at him by guest captain Ondřej Kúdela. After the match, he physically attacked Kúdela. Although Kúdela denied racism, he was banned from UEFA in ten matches, which resulted in his inability to play in the European Championship. However, despite physically attacking Kúdela, the disciplinary commission stopped Kamara from playing for just three matches.

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