01-03-2001

By Peter Smith

After the arrest on fraud charges earlier this week of the President of the Czech FA Frantisek Chvalovsky it was a relief that attention returned to on-the-field matters Wednesday. After a busy night of international football the coach of the Czech team Josef Chovanec declared that he was satisfied with his players' performance in the 1-1 draw against Macedonia in Skopje. This was in spite of falling behind to a close range strike from Georgi Hristov in the 34th minute. Thankfully the joy was short-lived for the Macedonians, as nine minutes later Vladimir Smicer and Jan Koller combined to set up a chance for Pavel Kuka - the Slavia striker scoring with aplomb.

It would have been worse for the Czechs if Hristov and Sakiri hadn't blown great chances for the home side in the second half - still the game ended 1-1 - a result that more than pleased the coach. 'The most important thing for me,' said Chovanec 'was that no-one was injured before the crucial matches against Denmark and Northern Ireland.'

Chovanec may be happy but his predecessor, as coach hasn't had such a good week. Dusan Uhrin - the man that led the Czech Republic to the final of Euro '96 - has been sacked as coach of the Kuwaiti national team. His dismissal followed Kuwait's 1-0 defeat to Bahrain - a result that ended their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Czech Ice Hockey Federation has suspended the Jihlava's Marian Morava for 10 months after an incident on the ice that left Trebic's Tomas Zelenka paralyzed. In spite of calls from the players Union for a life ban, Morava will only be suspended until 1st January 2002. Zelenka is still in hospital, paralyzed from the chest down and a fund to finance his treatment has been established by the Czech NHL stars Dominik Hasek, Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias.

Finally tennis and in the second round of the Dubei Championship Wednesday, Jiri Novak crashed out 6-3 6-4 to the number 7 seed from Spain Juan Carlos Ferrero. It was also a bad day for the Czech number one Bohdan Ulihrach - he fell in three sets to the Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty.

01-03-2001