Ivan Hašek has turned down the post of coach of the Czech national football squad. The widely respected 44-year-old would be many people’s choice to take over from Karel Bruckner, including, according to press reports, the majority of members of the committee selecting a new boss. But after a meeting on Sunday with the powerful deputy chairman of the Czech football association, Vlastimil Košťál, Ivan Hašek said thanks, but no thanks. He had previously run for chairman of the Czech FA against Košťál, and it is the latter – one of the most unpopular figures in Czech soccer – that seems to have been the obstacle.
“It really means a lot to me that I was offered the job of leading the national team, I hadn’t expected to receive such an offer. But unfortunately, given the current situation in the leadership of the football association, I had to turn it down. The national team is just the peak of the pyramid, and I don’t think a new coach will change anything in Czech soccer.”
Following Hasek’s refusal attention has turned to other potential candidates. Karel Bruckner’s former number two Petr Rada is regarded as lightweight, while Slavia Prague have been saying they wouldn’t be willing to let Karel Jarolím go if he was offered the national team job.
Unlike their soccer counterparts, the Czech ice hockey union can rest easy, after on Saturday appointing Vladimír Růžička successor to Alois Hadamczik as national team coach. Růžička was a member of the famous 1998 Olympic winning Czech team and led the country to victory as coach at the 2005 World Ice Hockey Championships. He has been given a two-year contract set to run until after the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Roman Kreuziger has notched up one of the greatest successes in the history of Czech cycling with victory in the Tour of Switzerland on Sunday. First place in the mountain time trial stage on Saturday virtually secured an overall win for Kreuziger, who at 22 is the youngest person ever to win the prestigious race. Next month the 2004 junior world race champion will take part in the Tour de France for the first time.
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