Football

Europa League: UEFA drops disciplinary probe in Sparta Prague-Rangers tie

The draw for the third qualifying round of the 2020-21 UEFA Europa League, made at UEFA’s Swiss headquarters in Nyon on Tuesday

Sparta Prague will not face disciplinary action after UEFA found insufficient evidence of discriminatory behaviour in their Europa League match against Rangers.

This was disclosed in a statement released by the football governing body.

Following the racist abuse of Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni in August, the game was originally scheduled to be played behind closed doors, but around 10,000 schoolchildren and accompanying adults were allowed to attend.

The booing of Rangers’ black players marred the game, with Glen Kamara appearing to be the target of, particularly loud taunts.

Last March, UEFA ruled that Kamara was the victim of a racist slur from Ondrej Kudela during Rangers’ match against Slavia Prague, Sparta’s Czech rivals.

Following an investigation by a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector, the governing body of European football announced that no further action would be taken.

The statement read: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector was appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding potential discriminatory incidents which allegedly occurred during the 2021-22 UEFA Europa League group stage match between AC Sparta Prague and Rangers FC played on September 30, 2021.

“The investigation has now concluded that there was insufficient evidence of racism or discriminatory conduct at the match to warrant the opening of disciplinary proceedings against AC Sparta Prague.”

Sparta released a statement following the game, claiming that any claims of racism were unfounded.

“It is absolutely unbelievable that after a match we have to watch innocent children being attacked and face unfounded accusations of racism,” the club said.

“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.”

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