In Sports News this Monday: After five wins in succession at ice hockey worlds Czechs suffer surprise defeat to Denmark; Rosický leaves Arsenal amid speculation of Sparta move; Olomouc owner suggests refereeing conspiracy following final day relegation; and Berdych parts company with coach Vallverdu.
In four weeks’ time, the Czech Republic will face holders Spain in their opening game at football’s 2016 European Championship in France. The Czechs reached the final in the competition in 1996 and the semi-finals eight years later. But what chances will Pavel Vrba’s team – notably short on star names – have this time out? I put those questions to journalist Michal Petrák from the daily Sport. But our conversation first took in the Czech domestic league – and specifically why attendances are so low.
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Čech’s 16th clean sheet at the weekend means he will at worst tie for this year’s Barclay’s Golden Glove awarded the keeper with the most shutouts. Three other keepers were in the running: Kasper Schmeichel, Joe Hart, David De Gea. Both Schmeichel and Hart conceded goals in their final season matches; the final game between Manchester United and Bournemouth was postponed due to a bomb scare, so De Gea could still tie for the award. Čech secured the Golden Glove on three previous occassions with former club Chelsea.
A Czech assistant referee and linesman have been banned by the national football association for being drunk in charge of a first division football match. Fourth official Marek Pilný and linesman Jiří Jech were both visibly worst for wear at Wednesday’s match between Slavia Prague and relegation threatened Příbram. During the game the linesman was reportedly seen relieving himself on the pitch when the action was at the other end. Pilný was visibly unsteady on his feet and did not appear for the second half. The head of the Czech football association commented Thursday that everything could be seen in football.
In Sports News this Monday: Viktoria Plzeň lift Czech league title with three rounds to go – coach Krejčí says November win over rivals Sparta sparked march to championship; Lucie Šafářová shows form of old with Prague Open win; and Jágr is shortlisted for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for dedication to ice hockey.
Viktoria Plzeň have been crowned Czech soccer league champions. The West Bohemians gave themselves an unassailable points lead on second-placed Sparta Prague with three rounds to go thanks to a 2:0 home win over Baník Ostrava on Saturday evening. It is Plzeň’s fourth championship since their first in 2010/2011 and the first time they have lifted the title twice in succession. Saturday’s win was their 16th in a row, which is a new Czech league record.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech women reach fifth Fed Cup final in six years after beating Swiss in Lucerne; Sparta boss Ščasný “concedes” title race to Plzeň with five rounds to go; Liberec and Sparta tied 1:1 in Extraliga playoffs final; and Chodov become Czech floorball champions in front of record crowd.
Ex-ice hockey international Svoboda dies at 41
Prague Uprising: How the last German-held capital fought for freedom
Major new residential and office district to go up in Prague’s Hagibor district
From underground bunkers to “Fire Mountain”: how Prague’s poorest have lived over the centuries
Czech hiking trails mark 130 years