Zdenek Zlamal fined by Hearts for defending racist Ondrej Kudela over Glen Kamara incident
Zdenek Zlamal was fined by Hearts in the latter days of his three-year spell at Tynecastle for defending countryman Ondrej Kudela following the racial abuse of Glen Kamara, the Evening News can confirm.
The Rangers midfielder was subjected to the abuse from Slavia Prague’s defender during the Ibrox side’s 2-0 defeat in the last 16 of last season’s Europa League. Kudela received a ten-game ban from Uefa, which ruled him out of Euro 2020.
Zlamal, who recently retired from football following his Hearts exit, later spoke to a newspaper publication in his native Czech Republic while on an emergency loan at St Johnstone as his contract in Gorgie ran down.
He was quoted as saying: “The racism was great for Rangers because it covered up all their shortcomings as Slavia beat them. Rangers players are definitely no saints.
"The whole thing annoys me because no one has presented any evidence. Innocent until proved guilty is supposed to be a big thing in the west, but that has not happened.”
Asked about it on Czech TV prior to Rangers’ clash with Slavia’s rivals Spara Prague, Zlamal doubled down on his stance and says his words caused heated arguments in the Tynecastle dressing room. He also says Hearts tried to make him issue an apology, which he refused to do.
Zlamal said: “I left Scotland three months ago and it was still being discussed. I was asked for my honest opinion, gave it and I got fined for it. Very unfair.
"All I said was that there was no proof and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty should be honoured. The club pushed me to apologise, but I didn't do it because I didn't know what I should apologise for.
"My problem was that in Scotland, they automatically presumed Ondrej was guilty. But there was no real proof.
"I also had major problems with some players in the dressing room. I stood my ground though. We had a big exchange of views.
"It was exaggerated everywhere. Even now, we see Glen Kamara's lawyer come up with crazy stuff and that creates more hatred.
"The Sparta match against Rangers will go ahead with no problems."