CZECH boss Jaroslav Silhavy controversially left the Euros door open for disgraced Ondrej Kudela — in case he wins the appeal against his racial-abuse ban.
Slavia Prague defender Kudela copped a ten-match Uefa KO when he was found guilty of aiming offensive comments towards Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara.
Ondrej Kudela was banned for TEN games for words said to Rangers’ Glen KamaraCredit: AFP
The incident occurred in Slavia’s 2-0 Europa League last-16 second-leg win at Ibrox in March.
The ban appeared to rule veteran Kudela, 34, out of the Czech Republic’s Euro 2020 campaign.
But he is determined to clear his name and the Uefa appeals committee will hear evidence from his team-mates this morning.
Czech national coach Silhavy feels that centre-back Kudela is very unlikely to see the punishment overturned.
But he has left one space open in his 26-man squad in hope that the matter is resolved in his favour ahead of the June 1 deadline.
Silhavy said: “We will wait for the situation around the appeal of Ondrej Kudela against the ten-match penalty to develop this week. We feel that the hope is probably low but we do not want to slam the door.
“In any case, we have time to operate with that one place on the roster until June 1.”
Should Kudela’s ban be upheld, Silhavy and his coaching staff will choose another player to fill the vacant slot.
Kudela is appealing against his banCredit: PA
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He added: “I have three defenders on standby, where I will choose one if he is unavailable.”
Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida will skipper the Czechs at next month’s finals — they face England at Wembley in their final Group D game on June 22.
West Ham pair Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal are also included, along with Burnley striker Matej Vydra and Bristol City defender Tomas Kalas.
But Silhavy will be without Ondrej Kolar — the keeper is still out with a skull injury suffered in a challenge from Gers’ Kemar Roofe in that fiery March clash.
And Slavia winger Lukas Provod, another who played at Ibrox, has since been ruled out of the finals with a cruciate injury.
The Czechs have a training camp in Italy ahead of the finals, where they will face the Azzurri and Albania in friendlies.
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Glen Kamara insisted Kudela racially abused him – and a panel found his claims to be trueCredit: PA
He said: “Some of them would definitely have been selected. But football also brings such worries.
“I mainly wish all those players recover as soon as possible.
“We would have counted on Lukas Provod in the starting line-up. It is a sports tragedy for him and a significant weakening for us.
“Kolarř had a very difficult experience and wants to concentrate on his health.
“But we stand behind this team and we trust these players. I am convinced that we have put together an interesting team that can go as far as possible.”
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