West Ham star Tomas Soucek should be ashamed of himself for comments about Ondrej Kudela racism
Tomas Soucek has had a wonderful year and a half at West Ham but the midfielder’s performances on the pitch threaten to be overshadowed by an interview he’s given ahead of the European Championships.
Soucek, 26, is set to play for the Czech Republic over the coming weeks but he won’t be playing alongside international teammate Ondrej Kudela, who’s banned for racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara while playing for Slavia Prague earlier this year.
Last month, Kudela’s appeal against the ban was rejected while Scotland’s prosecution service are considering charges against the Slavia defender for alleged “racially aggravated conduct” [Sky Sports].
Despite being banned by UEFA and being open to potential criminal prosecution, West Ham’s Soucek has not only stood by Kudela but has also said that the UK attitude towards racism is extreme.
The Daily Mail has quoted Soucek’s recent interview, in which he said there’s no proof that Kamara was racially abused and claimed Kudela’s 10-match ban was over the top.
“At West Ham, everyone asked me about it and why he said it (to Kamara),” said Soucek.
“And I fought for Ondrej all the time. I believe that he did not tell him anything racist, no one proved anything about him.
“Yet a lot of people in the UK condemned him and he received a heavy sentence of ten matches from UEFA. I found it absurd. I know him so well that I can’t imagine him saying anything racist.
“I see how sensitive the British are to racism every day. Two cultures collide because we think a little differently than they do.
“Of course, it’s right they want to fight racism, but sometimes they go to such extremes that, in my opinion, it’s counterproductive.”
Whether it’s the board, David Moyes, Mark Noble, one of his teammates or another club official, someone at the London Stadium needs to have words with Soucek about this because his interview is abhorrent.
He’s said that there’s no proof of racism but the video clips of the incident at Ibrox in March show that Kamara and his teammate Bongani Zungu heard something racist.
No one would react that way if they were told anything else.
Kudela has been banned and UEFA would not have done that without evidence – yet Soucek is still defending him.
We love that Soucek and Vladimir Coufal get along so well with the players at Slavia and in the Czech national team but he needs to realise that one of his former teammates did something very, very wrong.
It’s not a case of oversensitivity here in the UK, it’s about a young man being racially abused while playing football.
Kamara’s the real victim here – Soucek needs to stop pretending it’s Kudela and apologise for his interview before it derails his reputation at the Hammers.