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Outrage over racial slurs against AS Monaco player

Outrage over racial slurs against AS Monaco player

By Stephanie Horsman - August 4, 2021

AS Monaco has filed a complaint over alleged racial abuse hurled at Aurelien Tchouameni during a Champions League qualifier match against Sparta Prague.

Sparta Prague fans have been referred to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for purportedly chanting racist slurs directed at Monaco striker Aurelien Tchouameni during the first leg of the Champions League third qualifying round in the Czech capital.

Tchouameni had just scored with a header in the 37th minute of play, the first goal of the match, when the chanting broke out. Teammates immediately informed match official, referee Michael Oliver, as well as Monaco Head Coach Niko Kovac to complain. There was a three-minute game stoppage in order to follow UEFA protocols for such situations.

A message was then played on the public address system stating that the game would be shut down if any further racist remarks were heard.

In the locker room during halftime, the players were reported to be shaken by the turn of events. Coach Kovac offered strong leadership, reminding the players that, whilst the incident was unacceptable, they were there to play football and that they must return to the field with their heads held high and continue to play.

“We are all devastated that in the 21st century this kind of thing still happens on the football pitch or indeed in society. We are all equal, and we are here to play football. I must say that I am very proud of my players because we had the right reaction,” Kovac said. “A football field is part of the world. Those types of attitudes have to be stopped. I hope it doesn’t happen again.”

The Red and Whites were vindicated in the end, winning the game 2 to nil.

“We won on the pitch and we won against racism. I think that is the most important message tonight, and what is also important is to say is that it was only a small number of supporters, a minority, who were guilty of this,” said Kovac, who added that he spoke to the opponent’s coach and told him he knew it wasn’t his fault, but that his players deserved respect.

This isn’t the Czech Republic’s only racially spurred incident of late. Last April, Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela was found guilty of assaulting Ranger’s player Glen Kamara in a tunnel after a Europa League meeting in March. Kudela was banned for 10 matches.

Monaco heads back to the Principality for the return leg, which is to be played Tuesday next at Stade Louis II, with the stakes being a place in the play-offs against the winner of the tie between Shakhtar Donetsk and KRC Genk, on 17th and 25th August.

 

 

 

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