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Slavia Prague's Kudela suspended for one game, to miss Arsenal trip

FOOTBALL By Reuters | April 6th 2021
March 18, 2021 Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela clashes with Rangers' Glen Kamara.  [REUTERS]

Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela, who is being investigated by UEFA and Police Scotland over alleged racial abuse, has been provisionally suspended for one game ahead of a hearing, Europe's soccer governing body said on Tuesday.

Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara complained of being racially abused by Kudela in their last-16 match, when the Scottish club was knocked out in the second leg, which included a melee on the pitch and clashes in the tunnel afterwards.

Kudela denied the allegation and his club stood by him, lodging an official complaint with the Scottish police, via the Czech Embassy in London, alleging a "physical assault" on the 34-year-old defender.

UEFA said its Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) was looking into Kudela for a potential violation of UEFA regulations over racism and other discriminatory conduct, and for misconduct such as insulting players.

"The CEDB today decided to provisionally suspend Mr. Ond?ej Kúdela for the next (1) UEFA club competition match," it said in a statement.

UEFA also added that proceedings have also been opened against Kamara to assess if he is guilty of assault, which could see him receive a five-match suspension.

Earlier on Tuesday, Slavia Prague's assistant coach Zdenek Houstecky said Kudela would not be travelling to London to play Arsenal in Thursday's Europa League quarter-final first leg due to illness and a nose injury.

Wales forward Gareth Bale had elbowed the player in the face while competing in an aerial duel during a World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic last week.

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"It's a big weakening for us, Kudy is a pillar who has been in fantastic form. We were glad that he managed to travel to Wales, we were determined to fly to Arsenal as well," Houstecky told the club's website.

"But he has a cold, he has virosis and fever. And after a blow to the nose, he also has inflammation. He was under examination, but unfortunately he could not fly."

Kudela did not play in Slavia Prague's goalless league draw against Zbrojovka Brno over the weekend.

Houstecky said centre back Simon Deli would not be travelling either, after the Ivorian returned a positive COVID-19 test.

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