In a ‘direct response’ to the incident in which Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara was racially abused by Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela, the SFA are set to introduce new tougher disciplinary measures, reports The Herald.
The incident occurred during a Europa League match in March and after being found guilty of the offence, Kudela was banned for ten matches by UEFA, ensuring he missed out on representing the Czech Republic at Euro 2020.
Now, following a virtual summit involving key stakeholders, Scottish football authorities are increasing punishments for anyone who uses discriminatory language towards an opponent.
“Our anti-discrimination action plan has just been signed off by the board,” said SFA diversity and inclusion manager David McCardle [The Herald]. “There are something like 40 different actions that we are looking to input. That kicked off from the Glen Kamara incident and the summits we held back in March, April time.”
“The ban for somebody who uses homophobic or racist abuse on the football pitch in the senior levels of the game is going to increase quite significantly through that.
“We have basically said the ban for somebody who uses racist or homophobic language will be a minimum of 10 games unless there are vast mitigating circumstances. But it is up to a year.”
McCardle goes on to state that such punishments will be amongst the strictest in Europe, with Jordan Allison of Show Racism the Red Card asserting that increasing the maximum penalty to a year will go beyond what the authorities in England and Wales have done so far.
SFA act in direct response to Rangers player incident
Glen Kamara should never have had to experience what he did from Kudela at Ibrox that day or from the stands in Prague last week when the Gers took on Slavia’s rivals Sparta.
Many people, including Steven Gerrard, have since called on footballing authorities to get tougher on racism, and it’s good to see that the SFA are moving in that direction.
The matter has to be taken seriously around the world for it to be eradicated and there’s a lot of progress still to be made in that regard.
But Scottish football setting an example by getting tougher on discrimination is a start.