Tomas Soucek defends Kudela over 10-game racism ban

West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek has said he has stood behind Czech Republic team-mate Ondrej Kudela “the whole time” following an incident that occurred during a Europa League match.

The Slavia Prague defender was given a 10-match ban by UEFA back in April for ‘racist behaviour’ towards Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara during the Europa League round of 16 first leg.

Kudela’s appeal against the ban was subsequently dismissed by UEFA.

On dismissing the appeal, UEFA stated: “The appeal lodged by Mr Ondrej Kudela has been dismissed.

“Consequently, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body’s (CEDB) decision of 14 April 2021 is confirmed.

“The CEDB had decided to suspend Slavia Praha player, Mr Ondrej Kudela, for the next 10 UEFA club and representative team competition matches for which he would otherwise by eligible to play, for racist behaviour.”

The ban covers all UEFA competitions and extends into Euro 2020, meaning he will miss this summer’s tournament.

He had served a one-match provisional suspension served whilst the investigation was ongoing, missing the first leg of Slavia’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final.

Soucek speaks out about Kudela ban

Soucek commented on the incident yesterday, explaining that he had stood by his international team-mate throughout.

He told Czech news outlet iDNES: “I stood behind Ondrej the whole time.

“No-one has proved anything, yet everyone condemned him and he received a long ban. It is absurd.

“I know him so well and I can’t imagine him saying anything racist.”

Czech Republic begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Scotland at Hampden Park on June 14.

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