Young Sparta fans boo Rangers' Kamara in Europa League

Normal fans were banned at Sparta's stadium for the Czech club’s 1-0 victory because of previous racist behavior, but UEFA had allowed the host to have the support of some 10,000 schoolchildren aged 6-14.

Rangers' midfielder Glen Kamara leaves the pitch after receiving a red card during the UEFA Europa League Group A football match between AC Sparta Praha and Rangers FC in Prague on Thursday.   -  AFP

Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara was repeatedly booed by the thousands of young Sparta Prague supporters who were in attendance for Thursday's Europa League game between the clubs.

Normal fans were banned at Sparta's stadium for the Czech club’s 1-0 victory because of previous racist behavior, but UEFA had allowed the host to have the support of some 10,000 schoolchildren aged 6-14.

The booing of Kamara came after Ondrej Kudela from Sparta’s arch rival, Slavia Prague, received a 10-match ban from UEFA for racially abusing the Finnish player in a knockout game in the Europa League last season.

Kamara was sent off Thursday after picking up his second yellow in the second half.

Later, Ranger manager and former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard said that he was disappointed but not surprised by the incident.

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"If they're facts and that's the truth, then I'm extremely disappointed, but not surprised ... We need the facts, we need confirmation if that's the truth before I comment," Gerrard told reporters, adding he had not been aware during the match that Kamara had been singled out by fans.

Gerrard also said that stricter punishments needed to be given in order to prevent players from being targeted.

"Not just myself, everyone across the world is asking for more and bigger and better and more extreme punishments in terms of racism. It needs to be eradicated," Gerrard said.

"But until the powers that be do more and treat it more seriously, until that happens, we're going to be dealing with these questions for a longer time."

The ban from all UEFA competitions had prevented the 34-year-old Kudela, who was a starter for the Czech Republic, from playing at this year’s European Championship.

Sparta was ordered by UEFA to play a game without fans due to racist abuse of a player during a Champions League qualifier at home to Monaco on August 3.

A group of fans directed monkey chants at Monaco midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni after he scored the opening goal in the first half, and again when the game was over.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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