Sports News

12-12-2005 15:44 | Ian Willoughby

In Sports News: the Czech Republic will face Italy, Ghana and the United States in the group stage at next year's football world cup - we get the reaction of Czech manager Karel Bruckner; Karel Poborsky is definitely not returning to Sparta Prague; and ski jumper Jakub Janda becomes the first Czech in over two decades to win a World Cup event in front of a domestic audience.

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Czechs to face Italy, Ghana, USA in World Cup

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK The eyes of the world were on Germany's Leipzig on Friday night, as the draw was made for the group stage of next year's football World Cup. Czech manager Karel Bruckner was at the glitzy ceremony, watching as his team drew Italy, Ghana and the United States in Group E.

While most commentators describe it is a relatively tough group, the Czech manager says he will have to learn more about their opponents before assessing the task ahead.

Karel Bruckner, photo: CTKKarel Bruckner, photo: CTK "I don't know these teams, I've never watched the USA play, or Ghana either for that matter. So we're going to have to do our homework on those two, but whether they'll be easy or difficult, or quite difficult, I just don't know. That said, I'm not happy that our first game will be against America, but that's the way it is."

The second game will be against Ghana, with Italy last. The Czechs will have to go all out to come first in Group E - whoever qualifies second is likely to face favourites Brazil in the knock-out stage.

Poborsky set to stay with second division club Ceske Budejovice for rest of season

Karel Poborsky, photo: CTKKarel Poborsky, photo: CTK And between now and the World Cup Czech international Karel Poborsky will be staying at Czech second division side Ceske Budejovice; he was suspended by Sparta Prague after criticising the club's manager, and both sides have now agreed to make the move permanent. Poborsky said he had spoken to national manager Karel Bruckner before making his decision.

"Of course my position in the national team played a big role, but I spoke to the coach and his reaction was positive, luckily. He said the alternative of me staying at Ceske Budejovice was acceptable to him. So life goes on."

Janda tops podium in ski jumping competition in front of home fans

Jakub Janda, photo: CTKJakub Janda, photo: CTK Many of Monday's papers carry photos of ski jumper Jakub Janda being kissed by his grandmother, after winning a World Cup event in the north Bohemian resort of Harrachov on Sunday. It was the first such Czech ski-jumping triumph on home soil for 21 long years. Afterwards Janda, who leads the World Cup points table, said it was the hardest competition of his career.

"I'm wearing the yellow jersey at the moment and everybody was expecting so much from me. I wasn't sure how well I had jumped but when I reached the bottom I saw that my jump was 141 m, and I said to myself, maybe that will be enough. I always have to wait to see the official distance before I will believe a jump has been good."

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