The Czech Football Association, which is embroiled in a subsidy scandal, is
believed to have allotted over 100 million crowns without clear rules.
Czech Radio’s flagship news station Radiožurnal says it has now obtained documents showing where the money went and one of the biggest benefactors was the village football club Osvětimany which is the home club of President Zeman’s Chancellor Vratislav Mynář.Mr. Mynář rejected any involvement.
Other overly generous contributions were made to clubs in the Liberec region, where the former head of the Football Association Miroslav Pelta comes from.
President Miloš Zeman has appointed Stanislav Štech as Czech minister of education, youth and sports. Mr. Štech, who is 62, is a Charles University psychology professor and a former deputy minister of education. He replaces the Social Democratic Party’s Kateřina Valachová, who announced her resignation after one of her deputies was charged with large-scale corruption involving sports subsidies.
Miroslav Pelta has stood down as chairman of the Czech Football Association. He tendered his resignation from the cell where he is being held on remand over charges of large-scale abuse of sports subsidies. The news was relayed to the newspaper Deník Sport by his lawyer. Pelta did not stand in a vote for the post of FA chief on Friday but none of the candidates secured enough backing to win election. He had been the top man in Czech soccer since 2011 and is the owner of Jablonec FC.
One of Czech footballs main long time sponsors, the brewery Gambrinus, said in a public statement that it was disappointed that new leadership of the Czech football association was not elected on Friday. The letter said that the brewery regarded the situation as critical and was weighing up its further steps. Other main sponsors, such as O2 and T-Mobile, have also voiced their concern about the current situation surrounding Czech football. The top football league currently does not have a main sponsor for the upcoming season after insurer ePojisteni said it would no longer sponsor the league after the last season. Gambrinus was previously the long term league sponsor.
The Czech Football Association failed to elect new leaders at a meeting in Prague on Friday. Even after three rounds of voting the top two candidates to be chairman, Martin Malík and Petr Fousek, failed to obtain the majority needed to occupy that the top position. The stalemate means that Mirolsav Pelta remains association chairman although he is currently in police custody related to a suspected sports funds fraud involving the Ministry of Education. A special general assembly of the association should be held at the latest by November 31. The two frontrunners from Friday failed to win sufficient support from both Bohemian and Moravian delegates. They have not confirmed whether they will stand again.
Czech Football Association chairman Miroslav Pelta and deputy education minister Simona Kratochvílová, who have been charged with corruption, are suspected of themselves choosing the members of a commission that decided on almost half a billion crowns in grants. Czech Radio reported on the story on Monday, referring to police documents surrounding the case. Ms. Kratochvílová is suspected of giving the commission members a list of 21 projects, all of which they later approved. Mr. Pelta and Ms. Kratochvílová were arrested earlier this month. The minister of education, Kateřina Valachová, resigned in connection with the affair.
Just days after corruption charges were filed against Czech Football Association chief Miroslav Pelta, the FA has said it will go ahead with a general meeting scheduled for June 2. Delegates will decide on the day whether to hold an election for the post of FA chairman, officials said. Mr. Pelta, who has been remanded in custody, is as yet the only declared nominee. Deputy FA chairman Roman Berbr, one of the most powerful figures in Czech soccer, said on Monday more people would announce their candidacy before Friday’s deadline and did not rule out standing himself.