Slavia Prague have confirmed that Ondrej Kudela will not travel to the UK to play Arsenal when the two meet in the Europa League on Thursday, amid UEFA imposing a ‘provisional suspension’ on the defender.
The 34-year-old is alleged to have racially abused former Gunners midfielder Glen Kamara during Slavia’s Round of 16 victory over Rangers at Ibrox last month.
Both Kudela and his club have strongly denied the accusation. Police Scotland also launched an investigation into the incident and it was hoped they would speak to the Czech international upon his arrival in England for the Europa League quarter-final first leg.
But they will now not be able to do so after Slavia revealed he will not make the trip to London due to “health problems”.
“Ondrej is on antibiotics and has not done his UEFA tests or passed a fitness test,” said Slavia spokesman Michal Bycek.
“Unfortunately, we expect that he can’t play against Arsenal.
“According to an examination at the Central Hospital in Prague, he has nasal contusion, high fever and is on antibiotics. The duration of his treatment cannot be estimated at the moment.”
The Scottish authorities confirmed last month that they were investigating the incident during the match, as well as a criminal complaint made by Slavia who claim that Kamara assaulted Kudela in the tunnel after the match.
Speaking after that announcement, the Rangers’ player’s lawyer Aamer Anwar revealed he was happy the police investigation was going ahead and welcomed the coming Thursday as a chance for them to speak to Kudela about the incident.
“Glen welcomes the police investigation into the racist abuse he faced from Kudela,” he said in a statement published on his Twitter.
“Police Scotland officers are now expected to question Kudela when he returns next month on the 8 April to England to play Arsenal.
“There can never be any justification for the deeply offensive, provocative and racist language that Kudela is accused of using. A Uefa investigation is now also underway, which Glen will fully cooperate with.
“If Kudela is found guilty, then Uefa must use Article 14 of the disciplinary regulations, to impose robust ‘zero tolerance’ sanctions.”
UEFA have since released a statement confirming that Kudela will be provisionally banned for Slavia’s next European match.
“Following an investigation conducted by a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector regarding the incidents that occurred during the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second leg match between Rangers FC and SK Slavia Praha on 18 March 2021, proceedings have been opened against Mr. Ondřej Kúdela in order for the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) to assess a potential violation of Article 14(1) or Article 15(1)(a)(iv) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) and against Mr. Glen Kamara in order for the CEDB to assess a potential violation of Article 15(1)(g) DR,” the statement read.
“In accordance with Article 49 DR, the CEDB today decided to provisionally suspend Mr. Ondřej Kúdela for the next (1) UEFA club competition match for which he would otherwise be eligible for the prima facie violation of Article 15(1)(a)(iv) DR, without prejudice to any ruling that the CEDB may subsequently make on the alleged violation of Article 14(1) DR.”
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The full findings of the report are set to be discussed by the committee on the coming Thursday, although it could take them up to a week to ratify their decision, meaning the outcome could not be announced until Thursday, April 15 when the second leg is due to take place.
Kudela has already been in the UK since the incident took place to represent the Czech in their World Cup qualifier against Wales last month.
His absence for the game at the Emirates on Thursday means the Slavia now have just one fully fit senior centre-back as things stand, with Simon Deli and David Hovorka both injured and Taras Kacharaba ineligible for the match.