Glen Kamara: Racist abuse of Rangers player leads to call for harsher punishments

Rangers Scott Arfield, Celtic's Ismaila Soro and Rangers' Glen Kamara
Glen Kamara (right) has thanked city rivals Celtic for their support

Glen Kamara's solicitor and the PFA Scotland union say players will no longer tolerate "tokenistic" punishments for racist abuse.

Aamer Anwar believes the 10-game ban Uefa gave Slavia Prague centre-half Ondrej Kudela for abusing Rangers midfielder Kamara was insufficient.

PFA Scotland says "this is a watershed moment" against racism in football.

"Players are saying to the authorities we expect you to take robust action," Anwar told BBC Scotland.

"Uefa should have imposed a minimum year-long ban rather than the tokenistic 10-match ban. They could have sent out a far stronger message that this abhorrent conduct wouldn't be tolerated."

Kamara was himself banned for three games after being found guilty of assaulting Kudela in the tunnel after Rangers' stormy Europa League defeat at Ibrox in March.

Anwar, 25-year-old Finland international Kamara and Rangers will wait to read Uefa's written findings, not due for another few weeks, before considering an appeal.

"The decision vindicates Glen's position," Anwar said. "He's been called a liar, he's been the subject of horrendous abuse, but speaking to Glen earlier, he is left disappointed that the sanction imposed by Uefa on Kudela is the barest minimum.

"He does want to thank manager Seven Gerrard, Rangers and their fans, but he also wants to thank other clubs and their fans who put football rivalry aside to stand united against racism. He was overwhelmed by the support he received from Celtic fans.

"Despite the intense rivalry, people were able to come together and that's an important message to take from this and we should learn from."

However, Anwar said he did not know "what it takes to wake Uefa up".

"I've had some criticism recently of the Scottish Football Association, for instance, in saying that they needed to move beyond the tokenistic gestures, they need to take actions," he said.

"Whether it is black players or white players who are playing alongside them, many of them who took the knee last summer, they are saying enough is enough - they are not going to take this any more."

Anwar pointed out that Slavia's denial of the charge had "incited" fans to "subject Glen to horrendous racism on a daily and hourly basis" on social media.

PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart said: "In standing up for himself, he will have empowered others to come forward and report such incidents knowing there is support for them throughout the game in Scotland. Players should no longer fear reporting any abuse they receive either on or off the park.

"But without the support and action from the governing bodies nothing will change. Our members will also no longer accept being abused on social media and we support the movement to get social media companies to take their responsibilities seriously and engage properly by taking action against anyone showering individuals with racist abuse."

Uefa, which has only twice previously handed out 10-match bans for racism, has been contacted for comment.

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