Wales is set to square off with the Czech Republic on Friday for a World Cup Qualifier, in a country where several racist incidents have occurred in the past year. The Rangers, from Glasgow, played the Czech's home club Sparta Prague in a Europa League fixture last week where 10,000 schoolchildren were permitted to attend the game, but no other fans were permitted. The limitations to schoolchildren stem from an incident in August when Monaco's Aurelius Tchouameni was subject to racial abuse the entire game. Well, the schoolchildren idea backfired, the racial abuse towards The Rangers' midfielder Glen Kamara was so bad it sparked a diplomatic incident between the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, where Sparta had the audacity to call the complaints "xenophobic attacks" on the children. Kamara was also racially abused in March in the same country.
The Czech and Ukraine are only separated geographically by Slovakia and Poland and seem to be having a racist problem too, not sure what is going on in this region. A Ukraine hockey player got a slap on the wrist for his disgusting attack recently on American Jalen Smereck:
World Hockey Report on Twitter: "A disgusting gesture in the UHL was made towards American Jalen Smereck... This is embarrassing and pathetic for hockey. @IIHFHockey needs to step up here. pic.twitter.com/cSqxBKVC4k / Twitter"
A disgusting gesture in the UHL was made towards American Jalen Smereck... This is embarrassing and pathetic for hockey. @IIHFHockey needs to step up here. pic.twitter.com/cSqxBKVC4k
All this has sparked the Wales boss, Robert Page, to inform the soccer world he has a zero-tolerance policy, and his team, who starts five players of color, will walk off the pitch and not look back if his players are subject to racial abuse.
Page, speaking to Sky Sports (2021) noted, "There's protocols put in place and every single player in that dressing room will know they're backed and supported by the right governing bodies," Page said. "If action needs to be taken we absolutely will do that as a group. We won't stand for it and there will be zero tolerance for any racial abuse. "We will take the knee because that's what we think is the right message to continue to show. "How the crowd reacts, we can't influence that. But what we will do is conduct ourselves in the right and proper manner. We know as a group what's acceptable and what's not." (para. 3).
The game kicks off at 2:45 pm ET here in America.
~Michael Patrick Day, Irish Proud & 12oz Sports Writer
Photo Credit: Twitter (@Charwoodedin)
PA Media (2021). Robert Page says Wales are prepared to walk off pitch if team faces racist abuse against Czech Republic. Sky Sports. Retrieved CLICK