In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s soccer team lose to Turkey in New York, making it four friendlies, no wins for coach Michal Bílek; Petr Frydrych comes second in the javelin at a Diamond League meeting in Shanghai; and Usain Bolt will again be the biggest star at Ostrava’s Golden Spike on Thursday.
The Bohemian and Moravian Football Association has formally submitted an offer to host the European under-21 championships in 2013. The Czech bid lines up against competing offers from England, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Ireland and Wales. European football’s governing body, UEFA, will make its choice of country in December at a meeting of its operating committee in Prague. The Czech association will now convene a working group to select four stadiums that could host the championships. The country already meets one basic demand for hosting the event with two Prague grounds having capacity of more than 20,000.
In Sports News: Sparta Prague win the Czech football league after one of the most dramatic season finales in recent years, setting a couple of impressive records along the way; defender Tomáš Řepka is the hero of the day after his goal seals the title; and the Czech Republic are on the ropes at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Germany.
Tomáš Řepka has been speaking about his satisfaction after his goal in a 1:0 win over Teplice on Saturday secured Sparta Prague’s 35th Czech(oslovak) soccer league title. The defender’s suspension after a rash foul was judged by some to have cost Sparta the league two years ago, and he said he was delirious about what he described as the closest fought of the four titles he has won with the club. The final day of the season was unusually tense, with Sparta, Baník Ostrava and Jablonec all still in with a chance of finishing first. Sparta’s win meant Baník would have needed to beat Příbram by an extremely large margin to pip Sparta to first. In the end, Baník finished third after a 1:1 draw and Jablonec came second following a 2:0 victory over České Budějovice.
The manager of Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti, praised goalkeeper Petr Čech after the club’s 1:0 win over in Portsmouth in the final of England’s FA Cup on Saturday. Ancelotti said the Czech’s penalty save with the score at 0:0 early in the second half was the key moment of the game. It was Čech’s third FA Cup winner’s medal and followed Chelsea’s securing of the Premier League title last weekend. The goalkeeper, who turns 28 next week, also received an award for the most clean sheets in the English top flight last season.
The retired soccer star Pavel Nedvěd may return to the Italian club Juventus as a youth coach, Tuttosport reported. Nedvěd’s agent was quoted by the Italian newspaper as saying the Czech’s return to Juve had been made possible by the appointment of Andrea Agnelli as club president. Agnelli, with whom Nedvěd enjoys close personal ties, takes over on Monday. The former midfielder spent eight years at the Italian giant before retiring last year at the age of 36. In 2003 he became only the second Czech to win the European Footballer of the Year award.
A week of activities aimed at promoting the Czech Republic has got underway in New York. Among the events due to take place are a presentation of the Czech Republic as a destination for tourism, a seminar for potential investors, and a show featuring the work of around a dozen fashion designers. The centre of activities is the Bohemian National Hall on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Members of the Czech international soccer team will be among the guests at a gathering there next Saturday; the players are in America for friendly games against the US and Turkey.
The Czech soccer player Tomáš Ujfaluši has won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid, after the Spanish club overcame England’s Fulham 2:1 in the final on Wednesday night. The defender becomes the seventh Czech player to take a winner’s medal in the competition, which was previously known as the UEFA Cup. Ujfaluši, who is 32, made 78 appearances for the Czech Republic and captained the national team.
A testimonial game for the Czech soccer player Vladimír Šmicer is being held at Prague’s Eden stadium on Tuesday. A Slavia 11 will take on a Sparta 11 in the charity match, which takes place six months after the midfielder retired at the age of 36. Šmicer, who began and ended his career at Slavia, won a Champions League medal with Liverpool in 2005 and played 81 times for the Czech national team.
In Sports News: the Czechs win their opening game at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Germany; Kenyan Eliud Kiptanui comes first at the 16th Annual Prague International Marathon; Čech’s Chelsea demolish Wigan to capture the Premier League title; Bohemians 1905 fans see their team’s final match at Ďolíček stadium - but post-game violence leads to 17 arrests; Sparta look likely to clinch league title.
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