Newly crowned Czech league champions, Slavia Prague, will not be seeded in the third and possibly fourth pre-qualifying round of the UEFA Campions League and could therefore face tough opposition such as Scottish league winners Celtic Glasgow, Greek champions Olympiakos Pireus, or Polish club Legia Warsaw. Slavia return to the top European competition after seven years. They clinched the title on the last day of the season with a convincing win against Brno. The draw for the third round takes place on July 14.
In football, Sparta Prague has signed Serbian attacking midfielder Vakadin Vukadinovic from fellow top league club Zlín. The 26-year-old has signed a three year contract. He was reportedly sought out by league winners Slavia Prague as well. Vukadinovic helped Zlín win the Czech cup competition and qualify for next season’s Europa League. Sparta ended a disappointing third in the league this season.
Top men’s tennis player Tomaš Berdych remains at 14th place on the ATP rankings in spite of playing in his first singles final of the year over the weekend at Lyon, France. Berdych lost in straight sets to local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6:7, 5:7, in the final of what is regarded as a warm up for the French Open.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová could make her long-awaited return to tennis at the French Open in May, her spokesman Karel Tejkal told the Czech News Agency, adding that the decision will be made at the very last moment. The two-time Wimbledon champion has been out of action since December 2016 after she was hurt during an attack at her apartment in the Moravian town of Prostějov sustaining injuries to her left, playing hand. According to Tejkal, she is definitely ready to appear in Wimbledon in July.
The Czech Republic lost their final game in the group stage of the World Ice Hockey Championships in France and Germany on Tuesday. The Czechs were beaten 3:1 by Switzerland in a match to decide second place. They now have to wait on the results of later games to learn who their next opponent will be and if their first knock-out game will be in Paris, where they are now, or Cologne.
In ice hockey, Brno have clinched the Czech top league Extraliga title. They beat last year’s champions, Liberec, 5:2 to take their lead in the series to 4:0. In the run up to the finals, Kometa Brno only lost two games, both in the semi-finals against Hradec Králové. The title is the first for Brno in 51 years. The last was in 1966 when the club, which has gone through a series of name changes, won a series of 11 league titles in 12 seasons.
More and more Czechs are seeking healthier lifestyles, which means eating better and taking part in sports, from Nordic walking to ever-popular cycling and ball games. That at least is the gist of a new survey conducted by the GfK agency. Bank data suggests that Czechs, on average, spend around 14,000 crowns on sports– the equivalent of around 517 euros – per year.
Management of Prague football club Bohemians 1905 has sacked their 65-year-old manager Miroslav Koubek. The move follows a series of poor results with no win since October last year which sees the club fighting off relegation in the top Czech league. A replacement has not yet been named. Club official have confirmed that they are talking with the manager of second division Vlašim, Martin Hašek.
Big names in Czech ice hockey have questioned the NHL’s decision not to release players for next year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. A member of the Czech team that won gold in Nagano in 1998, Jiří Šlégr, said the move was a step backwards as the Olympics would have less value. For his part, Vladimír Růžička, who has taken part in five Olympics as a player and coach, said there had been no better advertisement for the sport of ice hockey than the Olympics.