Tomas Soucek Clarifies Comments Defending Ondrej Kudela
Tomas Soucek has moved to clarify comments defending his Czech Republic teammate Ondrej Kudela.
Slavia Prague’s Kudela was found guilty of racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara during a Europa League encounter in March and handed a 10-game ban.
West Ham ace Soucek, who previously played for Slavia, described the suspension as ‘absurd’, accusing British people of being overly ‘sensitive’ to racism.
My comments in a recent interview I did in the Czech Republic didn’t come across how I meant them, they were out of context and have been misunderstood. I am against racism in any form and am proud to play in a sport that is so diverse and inclusive.
– Tomáš Souček (@tomassoucek28) June 11, 2021
Speaking in an interview in his homeland publication, idnes, Soucek said: “At West Ham, everyone asked me about it and why he said it [to Kamara].
“And I fought for Ondrej all the time. I believe that he did not tell him anything racist, no one proved anything about him.
“Yet a lot of people in the UK condemned him and he received a heavy sentence of 10 matches from UEFA. I found it absurd. I know him so well that I can’t imagine him saying anything racist.
“I see how sensitive the British are to racism every day. Two cultures collide because we think a little differently than they do.
“Of course, it’s right they want to fight racism, but sometimes they go to such extremes that, in my opinion, it’s counterproductive.
“It’s hard for me to understand and I tell myself that when they go looking for racism in everything, they can never get rid of it completely. On the contrary, they are harming themselves.
“Our little girl goes to nursery here and when she goes to draw something on a blackboard, she can’t say that the blackboard is black or white – both could be interpreted as racism.
“Slowly, one is afraid to say anything so as not to offend or slander someone. And I think that’s wrong.”
However, Soucek has now backtracked, taking to Twitter to try and calm the storm surrounding the interview.
He wrote: “My comments in a recent interview I did in the Czech Republic didn’t come across how I meant them, they were out of context and have been misunderstood.
“I am against racism in any form and am proud to play in a sport that is so diverse and inclusive.”
The Czechs face Scotland in their opening Euro 2020 group game on Monday and Soucek could be in for a hot reception from the home fans at Hampden Park.