2009 has been a rather mixed year for Czech sport. Perhaps the biggest single story was the national soccer team’s failure to reach the World Cup, despite having a relatively easy group on paper. The Czech men’s tennis team, meanwhile, went on a remarkable run in the Davis Cup, only to lose to Spain in the final. And in athletics, Barbora Špotáková took the Czech Republic’s only medal, silver in the women’s javelin, at the Athletics World Championships in Berlin.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic have a mixed time of it at ice hockey’s Channel One Cup, taking points in all of their games but never the maximum three; David Bakeš notches up a career-best fourth in a Snowboardcross Cup event in Colorado; and the erratic Czech footballer Jan Šimák has been shown the door by Stuttgart.
Retired Czech footballer Pavel Nedvěd will return to the pitch next week for the first time since ending his career in May. The 2003 European footballer of the year will join other greats such as France’s Zinedine Zidane as well as current players in a match between European and African sides to fight against racism. Nedvěd will captain the European side, Didier Drogba, the African team. Funds raised in the match will go to African children as well as towards research on the neurodegenerative disease ALS - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The match will take place at the Olympic stadium in Turin, Italy on Monday.
In football, Sparta Prague have bowed out of the Europa League following a 0:3 home defeat against Copenhagen on Wednesday night. A weakened Sparta struggled against the more active Danish opposition and were two gaols down by half time. They needed to win the game to go through to the next round of the competition. City rivals Slavia Prague play their last Europa League game on Thursday against French team Lille but have no chance of going further in the competition.
Sparta Prague football club have demanded an apology from Marek Suchý, a player with their arch rivals Slavia Prague who held up a scarf with the slogan ‘Death to Sparta’ in front of Slavia’s hardcore fans after a Europa League game earlier this month. Suchý, who is 21, made the gesture following his last match for Slavia before joining Spartak Moscow on loan for one year. The defender told Czech Radio that the gesture had been made in a moment of high emotion, saying he was sorry if it had caused offence.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s tennis player of the year is…the country’s whole Davis Cup team; the Czech women’s floorball team reach the last four at the World Championship for the first time, but come home empty handed; speed skater Martina Sáblíková wins a World Cup 3000m race in her second best time; and Sparta and Slavia face their last games of 2009 in football’s Europa League, though only the former have something to play for.
The Czech FA’s disciplinary committed fined on Thursday the Prague-based club Bohemians 1905 for failing to prevent fan violence during a November game against city rival Sparta. Bohemians, who hosted the match, will have to pay 200,000 crowns, or more than 11,000 US dollars and play their next home game behind closed doors. In a first ruling of its kind, visitors Sparta Prague, also landed a fine of 100,000 crowns for the conduct of their supports during the game.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czechs lose 5:0 to Spain in the final of the Davis Cup in Barcelona – Radek Štěpánek says the Spanish deserved their victory; injury-dogged Tomáš Rosický is “devastated” after picking up a groin strain that will see him sidelined for around a month; and Plzeň move to the top of the ice hockey Extraliga.
The Czech footballer Jaroslav Plašil scored the only goal of a game between his club Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday, keeping the former at the top of the French league. It was only the midfielder’s second strike for Bordeaux since he joined them in the summer. Plašil’s international team-mate Petr Čech, meanwhile, had to pick the ball out of Chelsea’s net twice in their 2:1 defeat at Manchester City, after previously going for 525 minutes without conceding a goal. And the injury plagued Tomáš Rosický will be out of action for around a month, after suffering a groin strain in Arsenal’s 2:0 victory over Stoke.
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