Soccer player

Black soccer player booed by stadium full of schoolchildren

  • A black soccer player was booed by a crowd of 10,000 children after adults were banned from playing for racism.
  • Rangers’ Glen Kamara was booed by the kids while playing against Czech Republic’s Sparta Prague.
  • Six months ago, Kamara was the victim of racist abuse by Ondrej Kudela, who plays for rival club Slavia.

Glen Kamara was regularly booed by a stadium full of schoolchildren as Rangers were beaten in the Europa League by Sparta Prague – six months after being the victim of racist abuse by a player from a rival club.

Kamara was racially abused by Ondrej Kudela of Slavia Prague when the two sides met in March. The Czech defender has been suspended from UEFA for 10 matches.

On Thursday night at Letna Stadium, Kamara was booed when he touched the ball by some of the 10,000 fans in attendance – the majority of whom were schoolchildren.

The match was originally scheduled to be played behind closed doors after Sparta was barred from fan participation following racist abuse against Monaco’s Aurelius Tchouameni, in a Champions League qualifier in August.

But the governing body of European football, UEFA, has instead accepted that the match be played mainly in front of schoolchildren and a few accompanying adults.

The plan backfired, however, when many children started booing Kamara – who was one of many black players on the Rangers side that night – whenever he touched the ball.

“If they were targeting Glen then it’s extremely disappointing,” Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said after the game. “If it is facts and it is the truth, I am extremely disappointed, but not surprised.

“More needs to be done. Not just myself, everyone across the world is calling for heavier and more extreme sanctions in terms of racism. It must be eradicated.

“But until the powers that be do more and take this more seriously, we’re going to be dealing with these issues for a long time.”

Sparta Prague supporters during the team's game against Rangers on September 30, 2021

Young Sparta Prague supporters during the team’s game against Rangers on September 30, 2021

MICHAL CIZEK / AFP via Getty Images

A statement from Kamara’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, read: by Athletics: “I had hoped, when I heard about the closing of the Sparta Prague stadium, that Glen and the other black players would not suffer abuse or racism and could just keep playing football.

“But this evening should be embarrassing for the Czech team which, despite the ban on its supporters, makes little difference that the stadium is filled with 10,000 schoolchildren.

“A huge proportion of these kids booed every touch of Glen’s ball along with all the other black Rangers players. Tonight once again shows that Prague has a serious problem with racism and, as usual, UEFA is nowhere to be found. .

Kamara received a red card on the night as Rangers lost 1-0 thanks to a David Hancko header in the first half.

The Finland international was cautioned in the first half for a foul on Michal Sacek before landing a second yellow in the 74th minute for another foul on the same player.

“We feel a little tough because Glen’s got a red for very little, really,” said Gerrard.