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Europa League

Ondrej Kudela travels to Cardiff for Czech Republic’s tie with Wales amid Glen Kamara row


Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela travels to Cardiff for Czech Republic’s World Cup qualifier with Wales despite his club initially refusing to let him play due to UEFA investigation into alleged Glen Kamara racial abuse incident 

  • Ondrej Kudela has travelled with the Czech Republic for their match in Wales 
  • The Slavia Prague man was accused of racially abusing Rangers’ Glen Kamara 
  • Wales host Kudela’s side on Tuesday for a World Cup qualifying tie in Cardiff 
  • Slavia Prague initially refused Kudela to play in the tie amid a UEFA investigation 
  • Czech boss Jaroslav Silhavy admits the situation has been ‘difficult’ for Kudela

Czech Republic race row defender Ondrej Kudela has travelled to Wales after all despite his club Slavia Prague initially refusing to allow him to play in Tuesday’s 2022 World Cup qualifier.

Centre-back Kudela was accused of racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara during a Europa League tie at Ibrox on March 18.

Kamara reacted with fury when Kudela wandered alongside, cupping his hand before allegedly whispering a discriminatory vile slur – according to the Finn’s statement – into his ear.

Ondrej Kudela (right) has travelled for the Czech Republic's tie in Wales despite Slavia Prague initially refusing to let him play in the 2022 World Cup qualifier

Ondrej Kudela (right) has travelled for the Czech Republic’s tie in Wales despite Slavia Prague initially refusing to let him play in the 2022 World Cup qualifier

Kudela (second left) was accused of racially abusing Rangers' Glen Kamara (left) in a Europa League tie earlier this month

Kudela (second left) was accused of racially abusing Rangers’ Glen Kamara (left) in a Europa League tie earlier this month

Slavia and Kudela have denied the claims, while UEFA has launched an investigation. Police Scotland are investigating the racism allegations and Slavia said last week that Kudela would not be released for the Czechs’ World Cup qualifying clash with Wales.

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Slavia expressed fears over Kudela’s safety if he returned to the UK and the 34-year-old’s lawyers issued a statement on his behalf.

Czech Republic manager Jaroslav Silhavy said at his pre-match press conference: ‘We are not going to specify the safety measures but, of course, we are proceeding with the wish of the player and the players.

‘The team is happy that Kudela is here with us and they are ready for the match.

Kudela (middle) was initially banned from playing in Wales amid a UEFA investigation into the alleged racial abuse but he trained a the Cardiff City Stadium on Monday

Kudela (middle) was initially banned from playing in Wales amid a UEFA investigation into the alleged racial abuse but he trained a the Cardiff City Stadium on Monday

‘It’s obviously quite uncomfortable what’s happening, especially for Ondrej. But I don’t think it’s affected him and he’s prepared for the match.

‘It was clear for me that I wanted him here and I would like to thank those that could sort it out for Ondrej to be with us.’

The Czech Republic top Group E with four points from two games after beating Estonia 6-2 away and drawing 1-1 with Belgium in Prague.

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Wales lost their opening qualifier 3-1 in Belgium and must bounce back after three forwards – Hal Robson-Kanu, Tyler Roberts and Rabbi Matondo – were sent home for breaching Football Association of Wales protocols.

Czech boss Jaroslav Silhavy (above) admitted the situation was 'especially difficult' for Kudela

Czech boss Jaroslav Silhavy (above) admitted the situation was ‘especially difficult’ for Kudela

Silhavy said: ‘We can an expect an equal game. Both sides were dominating in their Nations League games and winning.

‘We are not expecting anything easy, but we are in good form and we will try to get points.’

On the threat of Wales captain Gareth Bale, Silhavy added: ‘He is an amazing player. He is probably going through our left side and we will speak to see who is going to defend him and not allow him chances.

‘We expect a similar game from the one against Belgium and the quality will be necessary. 

‘We need to be concentrated from the first minute as Bale will punish us if we take a different approach.’

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