The BBC is looking into over 1000 complaints about BBC Scots football pundit Michael Stewart questioning Rangers star Glen Kamara who insisted he was racially abused by a Slavia Prague player during the Ibrox club's Europa League 2-0 defeat.

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand told the the former Hearts and Hibs midfielder to "educate" himself over his comments over the incident that hit the headlines as Rangers exited European competition at Ibrox.

Mr Kamara, a Finland international was visibly distressed at a comment made late in the defeat.

Through his lawyer, Mr Kamara says Slavia Prague player Ondrej Kudela covered his mouth, used expletives and used a racially offensive term.

HeraldScotland:

Mr Stewart lit the touch paper when he expressed his reservations about the incident on BBC Sportsound and about going "full steam ahead when we don't know definitively".

The BBC indicated that the 1069 complaints about Mr Stewart's commentary on the incident and were the result of a targeted campaign.

The public broadcaster said: "Invitations to complain were posted online".

It has said merely that complaints were from people who were "unhappy" with Mr Stewart's comments about allegations of racial abuse during the Rangers v Slavia Prague match last month.

Complainers have been received messages of apology from the BBC stating that they would normally aim to reply to most complaints within two weeks but "we are currently dealing with a higher than normal volume of cases".

Mr Kudela and Slavia Prague deny any wrongdoing, but some felt Mr Stewart's cautious stance went too far and felt his comments cast doubt on Mr Kamara, even though he said he would unequivocally condemn any racist abuse.

Yesterday Slavia Prague chiefs have demanded Rangers put a halt to what they describe as "escalating biased pressure" being applied to UEFA and police investigating the alleged racial abuse of the Rangers midfielder.

European football's governing body and Police Scotland are both investigating the incident that took place during the Europa League clash at Ibrox on March 18, when Kamara claims he was racially abused by Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has said that he was "in absolutely no doubt over what happened".

He added: "You could tell by the reaction from Glen Kamara and [fellow Rangers midfielder] Bongani Zungu that something horrific had been said."

However, Slavia president Jaroslav Tvrdik responded in a lengthy statement claiming Mr Kudela was being treated as if he had already been found guilty.

The statement said Mr Tvrdik "demands the halt of escalating biased pressure on UEFA and police officials regarding the investigated incidents".

Mr Tvrdik then said: "The pending investigations conducted by the officials of UEFA and the local police have made no findings so far.

"However, our player Ondrej Kudela has already been the subject of a public 'conviction' without any evidence whatsoever. He is a victim of prejudice and a presumption of guilt.

"The UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector is still conducting an investigation regarding the incidents in question and has been granted additional time until April 5 to deliver his report."

The row over Mr Stewart's comments came a year after Mr Stewart was temporarily dropped from all BBC sports shows as discussions were held over a rant over Rangers communications chief Jim Traynor. Sportsound presenter Kenny McIntyre then apologised.

HeraldScotland:

Mr Stewart had questioned Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos saying he had been subject to racial about "on and off the pitch" since moving to Scotland three years ago.

In relation to Mr Kamara's comments, Mr Stewart said on Sportsound: "I want an understanding that there needs to be caution taken here because, I'll go back to it, at Victoria Park Michael Gardyne was being hung, drawn and quartered as some sort of... I think it was a homophobic slur that was supposedly said. Nothing came of it."

He said players were adamant that they'd heard something being said and it transpires they had not.

Mr Stewart said that he agreed Glen Kamara had no reason to say something that didn't happen, "but we can all hear things that might not have".

He added: "If he was racially slurred then I think the penalty should be handed down that is severe enough that other actually take stock of what they're doing.."

After guest Richard Foster said that reactions when Mr Kamara told team-mates shows there was something going on, Mr Stewart added: "But Richard you can't..."

READ MORE: Rangers racism row: BBC pundit Michael Stewart under fire from ex-England star Rio Ferdinand over Glen Kamara 'caution'

Mr Foster interjected: "If you use that argument, Michael, then you can never tell definitively what's been said and then the whole thing just gets washed under the carpet."

Mr Stewart responded: "But Richard if you use your basis then all of a sudden I could turn round and say... I could make anything up! That, you know, somebody said something against me or you can extrapolate that out..."

He later indicated that there was "no evidence to back up what people have said" before adding: "One per cent from me is what draws me back from judging and confirming 100 per cent as to this is stonewall, this is what's happened. Because you can't do that, if we allow that to happen then it's anarchy."

HeraldScotland:

David Currie said: "That's why we refer to what happened last night as allegations of racism."

Mr Stewart responded: "I know allegations but in terms of..."

Mr Currie then said he wanted to move on "because one thing that's not in doubt is that after the match black Rangers players were subjected to racist abuse on social media".

READ MORE: Michael Stewart dropped from all BBC sports shows while talks are held in Rangers rant row

Rio Ferdinand, a Manchester United legend turned football pundit, in a tweet directed at Michael Stewart said: "Educate yourself... comments like this are why people suffer in silence and are scared to speak out!"

Mr Stewart later responded to the uproar on another Sportsound broadcast and said: "What I’m trying to urge here is that before everybody jumps to conclusions, and obviously Glen Kamara released his statement last night and this was after the show where he talks about Zungu being able to corroborate things. I’m in no way trying to justify what has gone on.

"I think we need to allow processes to take place so we allow victims to get the justice they deserve.

"For me to then be lambasted for trying to urge caution, I find that difficult to take as well. It almost feeds into the point I’m trying to make.

"People need to pause and take a second to think about things before jumping on bandwagons, because I ultimately think the victims of these things aren’t done any justice by amplifying noise.

"Allow the process to take place, if found guilty, as I said last night, the harshest of punishments need to be handed down."