POSITION OF THE SLAVIA UNION OF FRIENDS ON THE DECISION OF THE UEFA CONTROL, ETHICS AND DISCIPLINARY BODY

We are the Union of Friends of SK Slavia Praha. With 6000 members, we comprise the largest group of football club fans in the Czech Republic.

The fact that our members have different skin colours, genders, faiths and religions, political opinions, nationalities and social backgrounds is irrelevant since our hearts are red and white (Slavia’s colours). We reject racism in all its forms and we reject the division into black, yellow or white. Moreover, bearing in mind our troubled history, we also strongly reject any division into Central, Eastern and Western Europe.

The decision of the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body of 14 April 2021 on the events connected with the European League Glasgow Rangers FC versus SK Slavia Prague match evoked feelings of both sadness and indignation in many of our members. In the wake of events that took place outside Europe, a body that, among other things, boasts the word “ethics” in its name, does not hesitate to throw moral considerations aside and trample on two traditional European legal procedural principles. One of us – the football player Ondřej Kúdela – was banned by UEFA from playing in UEFA-organised international matches over a long period of time without any proof of wrongdoing. The principle of the presumption of innocence and the related principle of “in dubio pro reo” (in cases of doubt, one should always decide in favour of the accused) have been completely abandoned. 

The UEFA leadership, including its chairmen, often end their engagement with the body accused of criminal acts. UEFA has for many years been losing its moral authority, and an attempt to regain this authority through imposing exorbitant punishments for unproven acts based on the demands of certain parts of society and the media is simply outrageous.

We wholeheartedly reject the excessive disciplinary punishment imposed on Ondřej Kúdela by the UEFA body. We stand solidly behind him, just as we would stand against injustice committed against anyone of us, regardless of their racial origins.

On behalf of SK Slavia Prague – Union of Friends,

Dr. Michael Janáček, President

Prague, 15 April 2021

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