The thunderous case of Ondřej Kudely, which provoked a sharp verbal war between UEFA, Great Britain and the Czech Republic, even the Office involved the President of the Republic of the Czech Republic, she was supposed to write another important chapter in her development on Friday, January 21. A meeting was to take place at the International Sports Arbitration (CAS) in Lausanne. Eventually, however, there was a move to another date.
Ondřej Kúdela’s appeal against UEFA’s disciplinary punishment for racism is due to be heard by the CAS tribunal on 11 April. And so to speak, live.
“Due to anti-pandemic measures, CAS offered online negotiations in the original deadline of January 21, or postponement. Given that several witnesses have been called in, including Glen Kamara, for whom we want to cross-examine, for which the immediate response we would lose in the online environment is important, we agreed with UEFA that we are not interested in online negotiations. And so it was postponed to April, “explains René Cienciala of the law firm Urban & Hejduk, who represents Kúdel in his dispute.
Few matches in the history of Czech football have caused as much bad blood as the revenge of the round of the European League between the Rangers and Slavia. The guests won March 18, 2021 in Glasgow 2-0 and advanced. Among the numerous controversies caused by the match, the defenders of the Prague team, Ondřej Kúdela, are still accused of showing racism towards the home player Glen Kamar.
According to Kamara, Kúdela should have used the words “fu ** ing monkey”, ie “za ** aá monkey”, in his address. Kúdela refuses to ever say that, but UEFA’s disciplinary bodies have believed a version of Glen Kamara, a Finnish representative with African roots. Kúdela got a stop sign for 10 competitive matches managed by UEFA. Due to this, he lost the participation in the Euro in the jersey of the national team, Slavia was missing in the quarterfinal matches of the European League against Arsenal, as well as at the start of this season, for example in the qualification of the Champions League with Ferencváros.
Given that Ondřej Kúdela has already served the entire disciplinary sentence, the question arises, of course, what he wants to achieve now with his appeal to the International Sports Arbitration.
“When we started the appeal process to CAS, the sentence was far from being fully enforced. And it’s usually faster at sports arbitrage. However, we objected to the originally appointed President of the CAS Tribunal, then a new one was sought, and UEFA requested an extension of the deadline for submitting its observations. And before Christmas, UEFA’s lawyers crossed two CAS cases, “explains lawyer René Cienciala, why the whole process takes so long.
“We are now in a situation where the sentence has been exhausted. But my client will use his right to a fair trial at CAS, in which he wants to clear his name of accusations of racism, which he says is completely unfounded, “says Cienciala.
He leads Kúdel’s defense in this sportingly tuned line of the case, which has moved from UEFA to CAS. In addition, a criminal investigation into the alleged racist Ondřej Kúdela by the Scottish police is still ongoing.
“I do not represent Mr Kúdel in this line, but if I have the right information, the police are taking further action. Therefore, it can also be important for this criminal investigation when the client indicates that he does not agree with the content of the accusation, and therefore with the punishment from UEFA. I do not want to anticipate anything, but if the CAS panel stated that there were no statements or actions with a racist subtext by Ondřej Kúdela, then it would be possible to consider follow-up legal steps. But I haven’t discussed it with the client, so I wouldn’t want to comment on that, “says Cienciala.
It is argued that if CAS found that the sentence was unjustified, Kúdela could claim compensation from UEFA, or demand some satisfaction from Glen Kamara. “I really won’t comment further,” Cienciala adhered to the previous statement.
In the incriminated Rangers – Slavia match, the home team played extremely hard, among other things, the goalkeeper of the guest, Ondřej Kolář, was seriously injured on the head. The nervous atmosphere on the field culminated when Kúdela approached Kamar with his hand in front of his mouth and said something to him. According to Kudely, these were the words “fu ** ing guy”, according to Kamara, there was a racist mention of a monkey. After the match, the organizing club did not want to let the Slavs into the locker room. On the other hand, Kúdel went there for a clarification meeting and was to receive a punch from Kamara there.
Kamara received a penalty for 3 matches in the European Cups, Kúdela for 10 competitive matches within the European Cups and national teams.
In a way, the case continued in the fall, when Sparta clashed with the Rangers. She played a home game with a Scottish team in front of an auditorium where there were only school children. The adults were not allowed to take part in the duel, coincidentally also because of the racism committed by Sparta’s supporters during the duel with Monaco.
As the children watching the Rangers-Sparta duel were accompanied by Kamar’s touches with the ball with a negative acoustic response, the Rangers launched another investigation into racism due to UEFA. In this case, however, they were not successful. Even the then Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek dealt with the British ambassador and the reverberations in the island press.
It is with Glen Kamara that Ondřej Kúdela could meet again in Lausanne on April 11. “Kamara’s witness should be there, my client and I are still discussing whether he will attend the meeting in person,” says Cienciala.
“Our arguments for the negotiations remain the same. Our defense has not actually been assessed at UEFA at all. So we believe that someone will finally deal with our arguments and objections in fact and will not reject them on a flat-rate basis, as has happened so far. So far, no one has really dealt with the unpredictability of the only testimony on which UEFA is filmed, “Cienciala recalls the words of Kamar’s teammate Bongani Zungy, who was to hear the conversation with Kúdela on the field.
“Our arguments were not heard and settled at UEFA, so we turned to the International Sports Arbitration,” concludes Cienciala.
Ondřej Kúdel will be 35 years old when the case is heard at CAS. In the summer, his contract with Prague’s Slavia ends. During the autumn part of the season, he played only a few matches, suffering from a long-term injury. He is now preparing for the league’s spring in the Algarve, Portugal, but is not yet involved in combat exercises and situations to prevent recurrence of injuries.