Tomas Soucek Defends Ondrej Kudela Against ‘Absurd’ 10-Match UEFA Ban After Glen Kamara Clash
West Ham star Tomas Soucek has staunchly defended fellow Czech Republic teammate Ondrej Kudela after branding his 10-match ban as “absurd.”
The 34-year-old Czech centre-back appealed against the 10-match ban, but UEFA dismissed his appeal in May as they upheld its finding of “racist behaviour.”
Kudela will miss out on Euro 2020 after he was left out of the Czech Republic’s squad for the competition, but he would have been ineligible to play due to the ban.
The Czech Republic will begin their Euro 2020 campaign on Monday against Scotland at Hampden Park.
Ahead of the clash, Soucek defended the Slavia Prague player by insisting that he knows “him so well that I can’t imagine him saying anything racist.”
The 26-year-old Hammers midfielder told iDNES: “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.”
Soucek has claimed that players won’t take the knee before matches in the new Premier League season, saying it does not have “much of the original impact anymore.”
The Czech Republic international explained: “We’ve been doing it all season, but it will probably be cancelled before the next one as it doesn’t have much of the original impact anymore.
“There are more fights here, we recently boycotted social networks for five days to show that we are against discrimination and insults on the internet.
“But it’s like everything — an interesting gesture that will attract attention, but will it help anything? That’s the question.”