Czech Republic get their Euro 2020 campaign underway when they face Scotland on Monday afternoon.
One man that will not be featuring for the Czech’s is Slavia Prague defender, Ondrej Kudela.
The 34-year-old was expected to be in Czech Republic’s squad but was ruled out after being given a 10-match ban for an incident with Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara earlier this season.
The duo clashed when Slavia Prague faced off against Rangers in the Europa League.
Kudela was alleged to have used a racial slur and was handed the lengthy ban after being found guilty.
Kudela appealed the ban but it was rejected in May.
Multiple Czech players have come out in support of Kudela and now West Ham’s Tomas Soucek has had his say too.
The 26-year-old has blasted the ban as ‘absurd’ ahead of Czech Republic’s clash with Scotland.
“At West Ham, everyone asked me about it and why he said it (to Kamara),” he said, per the Daily Mail.
“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.
“It’s hard for me to understand and I tell myself that when they go looking for racism in everything they can never get rid of it completely. On the contrary, they are harming themselves.
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“Our little girl goes to nursery here and when she goes to draw something on a blackboard, she can’t say that the blackboard is black or white — both could be interpreted as racism.
“Slowly, one is afraid to say anything so as not to offend or slander someone. And I think that’s wrong.”
Soucek was then asked whether Czech Republic support taking a knee.
“It’s a difficult question because everyone has different opinions. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion.
“Obviously, I am playing for Czech Republic. Scottish people might look at us in a different way — but none of us support racism.
“That doesn’t say if we are going to take the knee or not. Or if we are going to say something or not.
“That doesn’t suddenly make us racists. I just want to be clear about that. The whole of Europe, all the footballers, stand behind the fact that racism has no place in football.”