22-02-2001

By Peter Smith

Sport now and beginning with football, Slavia Prague go into Thursday night's UEFA Cup Fourth Round return at Kaiserslautern full of confidence after their impressive start to the spring season. This in spite of injury and suspension worries for the Czech team - Slavia are already without the experienced Pavel Kuka for the match.. the 32-year old striker is suspended after ironically playing for Kaiserslautern in the early rounds of the Inter-Toto Cup . 'Of course I'd rather be on the pitch,' said Kuka, but I will be keeping my fingers crossed from the sidelines

Doubts also surround the fitness of Slavia captain Jan Suchoparek and midfield player Tomas Kuchar as the Prague team attempt to improve on their 0-0 draw with the Germans last week in Prague. 'If we can survive the first twenty minutes,' said Suchoparek, 'then we can try to score.' Kaiserslautern look likely to pin their hopes of reaching the last eight upon the former Sparta striker Vratislav Lokvenc.

Meanwhile, Czech interest in the Champions League appears to be all but over. Despite Pavel Nedved getting on the score-sheet for Lazio in their 2-2 draw with European Champions Real Madrid, the result means the Rome club will definitely be eliminated at the second stage. Same story for Anderlecht's Jan Koller who scored his side's consolation in their 4-1 home thrashing by Leeds on Wednesday evening.

Staying with football and the manager of the Prague club Bohemians Ludek Klusacek could find himself in hot water for refusing to elaborate upon his accusations of corruption in Czech football. At Thursday's special meeting of the Czech-Moravian League, Klusacek is said to have angered representatives by keeping his mouth shut on the subject - he could now possibly face disrepute changes in front of the league's disciplinary committee.

Finally to tennis and the Czech player Jiri Novak crashed out of the World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam, Holland to the unseeded Nicolas Kiefer on Wednesday. Novak could find no answer to the German's powerful serve early as Kiefer racked up a 4-0 first set lead. The German eventually coming through 6-2 6-4 to claim a second round meeting with Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

22-02-2001