Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela has dropped his appeal against a 10-match ban for racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara and said: “I’m so sorry.”
Kudela’s apology appeared to be limited to his regrets over approaching Kamara.
Kudela discovered this week that he would not face criminal charges relating to the incident in Glasgow on March 18, 2021.
The Czech Republic international was banned for 10 games by UEFA last year after Kamara reported him for racially abusing him during a Europa League tie at Ibrox. He has always denied the claims.
Kudela had denied the allegation and claimed he had used the word “guy” while covering his mouth with his hand.
A hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport had been pencilled in for April but a statement by Kudela’s law firm, Urban & Hedjuk, posted on the Slavia website, confirmed that its client had withdrawn the appeal.
Kudela said in a statement: “I am glad that this line of the story is over. The whole case has been going on for a long time, but I just want to focus on football.
“I would like to close it definitively, so after a long deliberation and agreement with the club, I told my lawyers to stop the ongoing international sports arbitration.”
The 34-year-old, whose suspension ruled him out of the Euro 2020 finals, added: “I realise that it was a mistake to go to Glen Kamara at all and tell him anything. There were emotions in the match and unfortunately I can’t take it back now. I’m so sorry.”
Kamara, who was banned for three games for punching Kudela in the tunnel, was also told this week that he would not face any criminal charges.
The Finland international’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said on Twitter earlier this week: “The Crown advised my client that they believed there ‘was sufficient admissible evidence to warrant a prosecution’ against Mr Kudela, but he would have faced summary court proceedings & extradition was not a viable option for the Scottish authorities.
“My client is happy the matter is at an end. Racism should have no hiding place in football and he’s deeply grateful to his teammates, club and fans from across the football world for their support.”