RANGERS Manager Steven Gerrard said it all, echoed by many in recent months if not years.

The scourge of racism in football, indeed sport, remains as prevalent as ever.

Rangers player Glen Kamara was jeered in the side’s recent 1-0 loss to Sparta Prague in the Europa League.

The Finn was jeered six months on from being racially abused by Ondrej Kudela of Sparta’s rivals Slavia Prague.

Sparta released a statement suggesting “unfounded accusations” of racism are “desperate and ridiculous”.

“I’ve spoken to Glen, he is OK, but our conversation will remain private,” said the Ibrox manager.

“Sadly, these things keep raising their head far too often and, unfortunately, the punishments are not severe enough.”

The match was played in front of 10,000 children and their chaperones after UEFA altered its original decision on a stadium closure following racist chanting by Sparta fans towards Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni.

“I’m fully aware now [of the booing] having watched the game back with audio and I’m actually surprised I wasn’t aware of it during the game,” Gerrard said.

He was originally unaware of the incident.

Gerrard added that the “wheels are already in motion” with an official complaint to UEFA.

“There needs to be more done. That’s the only way it’s going to be eradicated.”

Sparta say they “will proudly defend our children”, while asking Rangers to “do their part to stop the xenophobic atmosphere directed towards our children, our beautiful country and its inhabitants”.

Kamara, who was booked in the first half, was shown a second yellow card for leading with an elbow on Michal Sacek on 74 minutes.

The dismissal arrived with Rangers was behind in the game at the time following David Hancko’s first-half header.

Steven Gerrard is demanding more severe consequences to deal with racism in football.

Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela had previously been banned for 10 matches by UEFA after being found guilty of racist behaviour towards Kamara at Ibrox in the Europa League earlier this year.

UEFA also banned Kamara for three matches after finding he assaulted Kudela in the tunnel after the game. Rangers intend to appeal against Kamara’s suspension, which they described as “severe”.

Kamara was incensed after Kudela whispered into his ear during the match on 18 March. Kudela denied any racism. Kamara’s view was supported by teammate Bongani Zungu and UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body has found Kudela guilty of using racist language.

Kamara’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said the 10-game ban for Kudela – the minimum sanction for a racist offence – “made a mockery” of UEFA’s intentions to take racism seriously and that it had “disappointed” his client. Anwar said he had wanted a “minimum year-long ban”

He tweeted: “Whilst the decision of @UEFA to uphold the 10-match ban against Kudela for his racist abuse of @GlenKamara4 is welcomed – the ban smacks of tokenism & in reality UEFA has failed to take any real action against racism, meanwhile my client is yet to receive a full apology.”

“They should have a minimum one-year ban for players when it comes to this and they should be fining clubs substantial amounts so it actually damages the pocket.

“UEFA is like an oil tanker that would take hours or days to shift but if, for instance, somebody is setting up a Super League UEFA will move almost instantaneously and threaten all sorts of punishments and sanctions.

“When it comes to racism it’s very tokenistic – it’s take the knee, fly the banner, put up a slogan and think that’s it, job done. It’s not job done.”

The last-16 clash at Ibrox on March 18 exploded into controversy when Kudela allegedly called Kamara a “f****** monkey” just moments before the full-time whistle.

The claims were corroborated by Kamara’s team-mate Bongani Zungu, but Kudela insisted he was innocent, maintaining he had only said: “You f****** guy”.

Show Racism the Red Card described UEFA’s sanction as “wildly insufficient”.

Since the incident, Slavia Prague player Ondrej Kudela apologised to Rangers star Glen Kamara but appealed his UEFA ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“I realise it was a mistake for me to ever say anything to Glen Kamara.

“There were a lot of emotions in the match and unfortunately I can’t take it back now. I’m so sorry.”

Meanwhile, former Manchester United South Korean midfielder Park Ji-sung appealed to the club’s fans to stop singing a song about him which contains a racial stereotype about his country of origin.

Park, 40, said the song cased him “discomfort” while at United.

He was compelled to act after hearing away fans sing the song as Wolves unveiled their new Korean forward Hwang Hee-chan when they played United in August.

“I’m really sorry for him to hear that,” said Park, who retired in 2014.

“I have to educate the fans to stop that word, which is usually these days a racial insult to the Korean people.”

“Listening to the chant even 10 years later now, I feel sorry for the younger me who tried to overcome this discomfort that I felt back then.

“I also feel responsible for the young people who are still discriminated against as Asians or Koreans and struggling with that kind of discomfort.”

Park played more than 200 games for the red devils between 2005 and 2012, winning four Premier League titles and a Champions League, added: “In Korea, things have changed a lot. The culture has changed.

“I really request the fans to stop singing that word. It causes discomfort to Korean people when they hear that song. It’s time to stop.”

More recently, Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly declared that racist fans must be “kept out of stadiums forever”.

Koulibaly and team-mate Victor Osimhen reported on social media the racist abuse they received from Fiorentina fans during a recent 2-1 away win.

Nigeria forward Osimhen was most indignant. He urged for supporters to “understand how disgusting it is to hate an individual because of the colour of their skin”.

Fiorentina was quick to release a statement to condemn the incident.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, on loan in Naples from Fulham, was also targeted by home fans.

“Fiorentina expresses the most firm and harsh condemnation for the episodes of racism that took place yesterday during the match against Napoli,” the Serie A club said in a statement.

“General Manager [Joe] Barone, already after the match, personally apologised.”

Fiorentina will aid the investigation by supplying CCTV footage from the game to help identify the “culprits”.

The Italian Football Federation [FIGC] has opened an investigation into the incident. It follows an investigation being opened into alleged racist chants by Lazio fans aimed at AC Milan’s on-loan Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. Italy and Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini, 37, stated he is “ashamed” of the racist abuse Fiorentina fans aimed at Napoli players.

“We need laws and rules that are applied,” said Chiellini.

“I was ashamed, as an Italian and a Tuscan, also because Italy is not a racist country for me.

“Something more must be done, otherwise from outside we give a bad image of ourselves.”

Racism has no place in sport or any aspect of society. It is driven by anger, fear and attempts at the dehumanisation of others based on the colour of one’s skin or cultural origins.

It results in great psychological harm to the recipients, including severe anxiety and depressive disorders.

Gerrard was right when he said not enough was being done.

This is an opinion shared by the United Nations.

Furthermore, what was being done was not working.

Ludo Aequitas offers several unique strategies to eradicate the problem of racism, using sport as its vehicle.

At the forefront is the “Ludo Creed” and the “Do The Ludo” behaviour, as symbols of protest and unification.

Image via scotsman.com

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