In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic beat Chile to reach the semi-finals of tennis’s Davis Cup, but will face a sterner test against Novak Djokovic and his Serbian team-mates in September; Roman Kreuziger can enjoy a rest day in the Tour de France after finishing fourth in the first Alpine stage on Sunday; and the Czech football season begins with a piquant game in Prague’s Vršovice district.
Interpol has given up searching for the deputy chairman of the Czech and Moravian Football Association and businessman Miroslav Kříž according to Czech media reports which point out he not on the list of Czechs being sought. Czech police have refused to confirm the reports but say their search is continuing. Mr. Kříž was last seen in Prague on May 22. The latest turnaround in events has raised speculation that Mr. Kříž might be a key police witness or that police know of his whereabouts abroad but cannot take any action to get him back.
Betting agencies say that Czechs bet more than one billion crowns on the 2010 football World Cup. The company Fortuna said that it expected a final total of more than 400 million crowns, while Tipsport projected half a billion in wagers, all in spite of the fact that the Czech team is not playing in the tournament. The agencies agreed that the results were worse than general due to the many upsets in the tournament; betters, they said, were pulling for Brazil and Argentina, both of whom lost in the semi-finals. According to the bookmaker, the favourite for the championship title is Spain.
The Czech football season will kick off on Thursday for the first time with a super cup match between the league and cup champions. In this context, league leaders Sparta Prague will face cup winner Viktoria Plzeň. Although such matches have traditionally opened the season abroad, this is the first time the format has been tested in the Czech Republic. The match will take place at Sparta’s Letna stadium.
Czech football player Tomáš Kalas will continue to play for Sigma Olomouc in the Gambrinus League in the upcoming season in spite of having been signed by English club Chelsea. Chelsea announced the news that it will loan the 17-year-old defender out to his old club on its website. Chelsea beat off offers from a host of other top clubs, reportedly including Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Juventus and Inter Milan to sign Kalas for around 160 million crowns. Kalas already played for Olomouc’s first team last season.
The German Bundesliga club Hamburger SV signed a three-year deal with Czech goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobný on Monday. The 30-year-old Czech footballer comes from Hertha Berlin which was relegated to the second top division last season. Jaroslav Drobný told the Hamburg club website that he was extremely happy with the transfer, and was looking forward to competing for the league title.
Czech star midfielder Tomáš Rosický has denied any knowledge of reports linking him to a possible to move to his former club Borussia Dortmund. The player left for Arsenal in 2006 but struggled with injuries in recent years. According to the Daily Mail’s MailOnline, the player had also attracted the attention of Hamburg and Cologne. Rosický’s agent Pavel Paška admitted there has been an interest in the player but stressed the midfielder’s priority was to remain with the Gunners. The 29-year-old Rosický signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal at the beginning of this year.
Teenage striker Matěj Vydra has joined Serie A side Udinese from Baník Ostrava on a five-year deal, the ČTK news agency said on Monday, quoting his agent Ondřej Chovanec. Ostrava will get around four million euros (roughly five million US dollars) for the player, which makes him one of the most expensive Czech footballers ever, the agency said. The 18-year-old, who only made his first appearance in the Czech first division in January, scored four times in 14 matches for Ostrava. Vydra, who passed his medical examination at Udinese last week Thursday, expressed surprise over how quick the deal came together.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic’s athletes qualify for the super league of the European Team Championships, after coming first in the competition’s second tier in Budapest; Jimmy Connors tells Czech Radio that Tomáš Berdych can do “damage” at Wimbledon; and a 17-year-old who has made only one Czech league appearance is reported to be on his way to Chelsea in a EUR 6-million deal.
Teenage Czech striker Matěj Vydra has joined Serie A side Udinese from Baník Ostrava on a five-year deal, the CTK news agency said, quoting his agent Ondřej Chovanec. Ostrava will get around four million euros for Vydra, which makes him one of the most expensive Czech players ever, the agency said. The 18-year-old, who only made his first appearance in the Czech first division in January, scored four times in 14 matches for Ostrava.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott