Kamara's lawyer says UK police seeking to prosecute Kudela

(Reuters) - Police Scotland are seeking to prosecute Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela for racially abusing Glen Kamara in a Europa League match last month, the Rangers midfielder’s lawyer said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup Qualifiers Europe - Group E - Wales v Czech Republic - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Britain - March 30, 2021 Czech Republic's Ondrej Kudela during the warm up before the match Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

Kamara complained of being racially abused by Kudela during the second-leg of a last-16 tie where Rangers were eliminated and Europe’s soccer governing body UEFA on Wednesday banned the Czech defender for 10 games.

“Today Police Scotland confirmed that a case against Ondrej Kudela was submitted to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration, relating to a match played between Rangers and Slavia Prague on March 18,” Kamara’s lawyer Aamer Anwar said in a statement.

“The police believe they have sufficiency of evidence for a criminal charge of ‘racially aggravated conduct’ by Kudela, towards Glen Kamara,” Anwar said.

Kudela could be fined or even sentenced to up to six months in prison if found guilty, Anwar said.

Police Scotland were expected to question Kudela when he came to London to play Arsenal in the quarter-finals last week, but his club said he was not fit to travel and UEFA handed him a provisional one-match suspension hours later.

“It is disappointing that to date Mr Kudela has failed to co-operate with Police Scotland, has not attended any police interviews, and has failed to provide a full statement to Police Scotland,” Anwar added.

“We would strongly urge Mr Kudela to co-operate with officers carrying out their investigations into his alleged criminal conduct.”

Slavia said they were aware Police Scotland had submitted preliminary reports for consideration by the Scottish public prosecutor, including a report on the “post-match assault of Kudela by Kamara”.

“It is not for Slavia or anyone else to comment on whether or not there is a sufficiency of evidence because these are matters which should be left to the police and prosecutor to determine objectively and independently,” the club told Reuters.

“Mr Kudela was and still is prepared to fully cooperate with the police enquiries.”

Kamara was suspended for three UEFA club competition games for assault.

Kudela’s lawyer did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

While Kudela said he was “startled” by UEFA’s ruling, Slavia President Jaroslav Tvrdik said the club respected the verdict and apologised to Kamara for “a situation that has clearly caused distress to him and his team mates”.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ed Osmond