Steven Gerrard says he will stand shoulder to shoulder with Glen Kamara as he warned UEFA they must not sweep the alleged racist comment aimed at the Rangers midfielder “under the carpet”.
Nine-man Gers crashed out of the Europa League following a 2-0 defeat to Slavia Prague at Ibrox but the game was overshadowed by claims that the Czech’s defender Ondrej Kudela whispered an offensive slur in Kamara’s ear in a late flashpoint.
The incident sparked a furious reaction from the Rangers players, while Gerrard and Ibrox chairman Douglas Park were pictured confronting Slavia boss Jindrich Trpisovsky and his Prague backroom team several minutes after the full-time whistle.
Gerrard insists the Finland international will receive his full support after revealing the Slavia delegation had branded the 25-year-old a “liar”.
Slavia president Jaroslav Tvrdik denied the claims in a tweet – and alleged that Kudela was assaulted after the match.
The Ibrox boss – who saw Kemar Roofe and Leon Balogun both sent off as goals from Nicolae Stanciu and Peter Olayinka sent the Czechs into the last eight – said: “I have a very, very strong relationship with Glen Kamara.
“Glen Kamara to me is one of my own. I 100 per cent believe what he is saying in terms of the accusation.
“Other players around him heard it so I will stand toe-to-toe with Glen Kamara and I’ll deal with this however Glen wants to deal with it.
“I am proud of all my players, tonight showing solidarity and from the top of this club to the bottom we stand with the players. This situation is over to UEFA now. I just hope it doesn’t get brushed under the carpet.
“I feel angry. It’s extremely disappointing. There is too much of it happening around football.
“Something needs to happen quickly. That is above me.
“UEFA will take this upon them I’m sure they will speak to both players and we will let other people deal with it. All I can confirm is that my player tells me he was racially abused.”
Gerrard admitted his players were too stunned by the incident to consider walking off the pitch in protest.
And he was clearly disgusted by the reaction of the Slavia management.
“I tried to call Glen over during the game,” he said. “I was going to ask him did he want to leave the pitch and I would have backed him whatever his decision was but the payers stayed on the pitch, that was their decision and the game came to a conclusion.
“This will be taken out of my hands now and dealt with by UEFA. I just hope with all my heart that people deal with it because that situation was not normal.
“If I wanted to say something to you on a football pitch why do I need to cover my mouth and go to the ear. The game’s done in terms of the result at the time, we have nine men they are 2-0 up there is absolutely no need for it.
“The disappointing thing for me is there is people trying to defend the opposition player.
“Who? Their people, trying to defend it, trying to defend him, calling us liars. That’s for other people to deal with all I say now is that I stand by Glen Kamara 100 per cent.”
Slavia president Tvrdik responded to the Rangers claims by tweeting: “Slavia categorically opposes the fact that the player Ondrej Kudela racistly insulted the opposition player in any way.
“Our player was physically attacked after the match. At the request of Slavia, the case was resolved by the local police. We would like to see a detailed investigation of the whole situation by UEFA.”