Uefa under fire for ‘wildly insufficient’ racism punishment

News and reactions from the world of sport, including Phil Foden’s Twitter gaffe and Canada’s Olympic fashion crime

Glen Kamara of Rangers clashes with Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela
Glen Kamara of Rangers clashes with Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela
(Image credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

1. Kudela gets ten-match ban for racially abusing Kamara


European football’s governing body Uefa has been accused of failing to stamp out racism.

Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela has been given a ten-match ban for calling Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara a “f***ing monkey” in a Europa League tie at Ibrox last month. But Kamara has also been banned for three games after being found guilty of assaulting Kudela in the tunnel after the match.

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Kamara’s lawyer Aamer Anwar said the punishment handed to Kudela made a “mockery” of Uefa’s vow to stamp out abuse. Anwar told the Daily Mail that Kudela should have been given a minimum year-long suspension rather than a “tokenistic” ten-match ban.

Anti-racism education organisation Show Racism the Red Card believed Kudela’s punishment was “wildly insufficient”. In a tweet Show Racism the Red Card said: “Players can wear ‘respect’ on their arms, but without zero tolerance of racist abuse, it stands as an empty gesture.”

Uefa “could have kicked racism out”, said Keith Jackson in the Daily Record, but the Kudela ban “shows they’re happy to just have it suspended”.

2. Foden ‘calls out’ Mbappe before tweet is deleted


Phil Foden scored another winning goal as Manchester City secured their place in the Champions League semi-finals, where they will face French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

After beating Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on aggregate in the last eight, England midfielder Foden sent a tweet with a message for PSG star Kylian Mbappe which read “@KMappe are you ready”.

However, hours after it was published Foden’s “Twitter gaffe” was quickly deleted, The Independent reports. The tweet was actually published by a third-party PR company and Foden was “unhappy with the post for unnecessarily mentioning the PSG forward”.

In last night’s other Champions League match Liverpool were knocked out after a goalless draw with Real Madrid at Anfield. The Spaniards won the quarter-final tie 3-1 on aggregate and will now play Chelsea in the last four.

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3. Stokes named Wisden cricketer of the year for second year running


England star Ben Stokes has been named the leading men’s cricketer in the world for the second successive year by Wisden.

Lawrence Booth, editor of the 2021 Wisden Almanack, said of Stokes: “His haul of 641 Test runs at 58 in the calendar year was more than anyone else, while his 19 wickets cost just 18 apiece. He did it all against a backdrop of personal tragedy: his father, Ged, died in December at the age of 65.”

Wisden also announced that Australia’s Beth Mooney has been awarded the title of leading woman cricketer in the world.

4. Solskjaer: too much red at Old Trafford confused United players


For a team that plays in red and are called the Red Devils, you would think that Manchester United players would be fine seeing their Old Trafford stadium decked out in the club’s favourite colour. Not so much, says United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

With games being held behind closed doors, the stadium’s lower tier empty seats have been covered in red banners throughout this season. However, they are now being changed to black after Solskjaer made the “bizarre” claim that red banners have hampered his side’s home form, Sky Sports reports.

Ahead of tonight’s Europa League quarter-final second leg against Granada the Norwegian said: “You’ll see a change now – see the banners around the club [stadium] are not red any more. We’ve looked into this. There shouldn’t be a reason, really [for inferior home form] but some of the players mentioned that in the split-second decision you have to look over your shoulder to see if your teammate is there or not then the red shirt is on a red background with red seats [and this was a problem].”

5. ‘Cancel the Olympics’: fans react to Team Canada’s jean jackets

Kylie Masse in Team Canada’s closing ceremony uniform

Kylie Masse in Team Canada’s closing ceremony uniform
(Image credit: Finn O’Hara/Team Canada)


The start of the Tokyo Olympics is still a few months away but fans are already looking forward to the closing ceremony on 8 August to see Team Canada strut their stuff.

Canadian athletes will wear jean jackets as part of their outfit for the closing event and the reaction from fans has been met with a mix of “outrage and delight”, The Guardian reports. The graffiti-splashed denim jackets “would have been very current at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona or on Degrassi Junior High at its peak” the paper added.

Hudson Bay, designers of the Team Canada uniforms, said the “forever cool jean jacket” pays tribute to Tokyo’s street art and fashion and the “graffiti graphic and unexpected patch placements capture a youthful and celebratory feel.”

However, some social media users were less celebratory about Canada’s fashion statement. One Twitter user said “I am screaming - cancel the Olympics” while another noted “jean jackets I wish I was joking”.

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Mike Starling is the digital features editor at The Week, where he writes content and edits the Arts & Life and Sport website sections and the Food & Drink and Travel newsletters. He started his career in 2001 in Gloucestershire as a sports reporter and sub-editor and has held various roles as a writer and editor at news, travel and B2B publications. He has spoken at a number of sports business conferences and also worked as a consultant creating sports travel content for tourism boards. International experience includes spells living and working in Dubai, UAE; Brisbane, Australia; and Beirut, Lebanon.