Czech football international Ondrej Kolar was treated for a fractured skull in hospital after suffering gory cuts to his face in a horrific foot-high challenge, departing on a stretcher in a Europa League game full of controversy.
Slavia Prague stopper Kolar was caught flush in the face at speed by the outstretched boot of Rangers’ Kemar Roofe in the second half at Ibrox, leaving him poleaxed on the turf with blood pouring from his face before the 26-year-old was carried off.
An overnight medical examination by doctors in Glasgow revealed a frontal sinus fracture to the 26-year-old’s head, and he is expected to be transported to hospital immediately after the team’s arrival back in Prague following their victory in the round of 16 tie.
Roofe was sent off for the reckless studs-up challenge as he launched himself at the ball in the air on the edge of the penalty area, receiving his marching orders just minutes after coming on as a substitute in the 2-0 win for Slavia that gave them a 3-1 aggregate victory.
Warning: photos include blood
Rangers forward Kemar Roofe was sent off for this challenge on Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar, who had to be stretchered off the field. pic.twitter.com/4d77e1vN3z
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 18, 2021
The shamed star later revealed that he had become the latest victim of vile racist abuse on social media, coming after a fractious incident during the final stages of the match.
After Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela covered his mouth and said something to him during a break in play, Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara reacted furiously, pointing at the Czech Republic defender while urging the referee to take action as a melee ensued.
Boss Steven Gerrard was seen having forthright discussions with Slavia staff at the end of his side’s defeat, and police were later called to the stadium after Kudela was alleged to have been attacked by Rangers players.
Rangers glen kamara being racially abused by a slavia Prague player according to steven Gerrard, let’s see what uefa have to say about it. pic.twitter.com/qyT11smVLw
— Devo (@DevoLDN) March 18, 2021
Gerrard predicted that UEFA would not take appropriate action over the accusations, which he clearly felt should involve hefty punishment. “I think what I want tohappen and what will happen will be different,” the Liverpool legend admitted.
“Too much of this is still in the game. A lot of people are working extremely hard to eradicate it from the game. I feel angry and upset, myself.
“My player tells me he was racially abused. The disappointing thing is that their people are trying to defend their player and calling us liars.
🔊 LISTEN: Steven Gerrard says Glen Kamara has told him he was racially abused by a Slavia Prague player:“Glen Kamara is one of my own.. I 100% believe him. Other players around him heard it. “It’s over to UEFA now.. and I hope it doesn’t get brushed under the carpet”. pic.twitter.com/NJURs3ty9z
— Clyde 1 Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) March 18, 2021
“I feel angry. I know Glen and trust him 100 percent. The Slavia player has caused this and something needs to happen quickly but that is above me. But whatever happens, I stand next to Glen.
“I don’t even feel like talking about football just now. It’s over to UEFA now and I just hope it doesn’t get pushed under the carpet.”
Kudela explained what had happened in a Slavia statement. “I told him, ‘You f***ing guy’,” he claimed, while his club said they “resolutely” denied the “disgusting accusation” against their captain.
“It was said in emotion but I absolutely deny there was anything racist in those words.”
Slavia said that Camara had been responsible for “one of the brutal fouls” they perceived themselves as absorbing from Rangers, calling their opponents’ approach “unprecedentedly malicious”.
“[We] have never experienced such play in any game in the modern history of the European competitions. Many brutal tackles resulted in injuries to our players. Goalkeeper [Kolar] was taken to hospital with 10 stitches on his head.
Roofe’s tackle was awful, no doubt. Did it merit racist abuse back? Did Kamara deserve to hear what was allegedly said to him? Absolutely not to both. Time for society to drag itself to a better, fairer, equal place. Diversify, evolve. Now. Strong, quick response needed from RFC.
— Andrew Dickson (@mrandrewdickson) March 18, 2021
“After the end of the game, the team was not allowed to enter the dressing room. [Kudela] was assaulted by Kamara and hit with fists in the head. Rangers manager Steven Gerrard witnessed the incident.
“Even the UEFA representatives, who were also present at the site of the incident, were shocked by this behaviour.
“The founders of our club gave us a crest with colors meaning ‘the purity of the idea of sports and fair contest where the rival is not our enemy, but a respected opponent.’
Steven Gerrard – THE Steven Gerrard – facing down 4 of them makes a massive & impossible to ignore point across the globe The Gaffer 😍 pic.twitter.com/me7wUNSiq4
— Snake Derick (@DerickSnake) March 18, 2021
“Today, Slavia is an international club based on respect for our opponents and mutual respect of all people and cultures.”
A Uefa spokesperson said the governing body was “aware of an incident which occurred in the tunnel after the match and which involved some players of both teams.”
“We are waiting to receive detailed reports of the match officials who were present at the game before commenting further,” they added.