Sparta Prague have reached the final qualification round for football’s lucrative Champions League. The Czech title-holders beat the Polish side Lech Poznan 1:0 away in the second leg on Wednesday, giving them a 2:0 win on aggregate. Marek Matejovsky and Libor Sionko were sent off during that game, meaning they will miss the next round, as will Bony Wilfried, who picked up a second yellow card. If Sparta fail to make it to the Champions League, they will automatically enter the continent’s second-tier international club competition, the Europa League.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czechs take only one medal at the European Athletics Championships, bronze for Barbora Špotáková in the javelin – coach Tomáš Dvořák says a young team is still lacking something; shooter Kateřina Emmons fails to reach the finals at the ISSF World Championship in Munich; and Plzeň top the Czech football league, while champions Sparta lose their second game in three.
Viktoria Plzeň drew 1:1 at home with the Turkish club Besiktas in their Europa League third qualifying round first leg on Thursday night. The Czech side went 1:1 ahead before the visitors managed to draw even with a penalty. In the same competition, Jablonec lost 1:0 away to APOEL Nicosia, while Baník Ostrava were beaten 1:0 by Dnepr Mogilev in Belarus.
Football’s Sparta Prague edged Lech Poznan 1:0 on Tuesday evening in first-leg of their Champions League third-round qualifier. The win gives them a slender advantage when they face their opponents in the second-leg in Poland. Sparta’s Erich Brabec scored the game’s lone goal with 12 minutes remaining after Libor Sionko set up a cross leading to the strike. Ahead of the match, security was heightened to prevent any clashes between Sparta fans and visiting Polish rowdies; there were only a few minor incidents.
Police are out in force for a Champions League preliminary round match between Sparta Prague and Lech Poznan at Prague’s Letná stadium on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of Polish fans, among them notorious rowdies, have been arriving for the match in the course of the day. A police spokeswoman said the police had checked dozens of buses crossing the border, returning a number of fans without Ids who were suspected of having been extradited for causing trouble on previous occasions. Around three thousand Polish fans are expected to attend the match, gathering first on Prague’s Old Town Square and making their way to the stadium on foot. A similar event last year ended in street clashes with the police after Polish rowdies attempted to force their way into the football grounds without tickets and vandalized public property after failing to gain admission.
Prague police are bracing for what could be a violent soccer match between Prague’s Sparta team and the Polish club Lech Poznań, to take place in the Czech capital on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of officers will be patrolling the streets ahead of the match. Some 3000 Polish fans are expected to arrive in Prague, some as early as Tuesday morning. Foreign police will be searching for arms and checking the passports of fans travelling into the Czech Republic from Poland at the border.
The Czech football goalkeeper Petr Čech has called for a change in the rules to allow substitute goalies to receive medals if they play any part in a league competition. Currently all players have to have made at least 10 appearances during a Premier League season to receive a medal if their club win the title. But in an interview for the Observer newspaper the Chelsea star said it never happens that a second choice goalkeeper makes that many appearances in a league campaign. Čech said the current regulation was “ridiculous” and should be amended to take into account the different situation of back-up keepers.
Sparta Prague have reached the third qualifying round of European football’s Champions League after overcoming Latvia's Liepajas Metalurgs on Wednesday. The Czech title-holders had won the first leg 3:0 away, and sealed the tie with a 2:0 win in Prague on Wednesday after scoring twice from free kicks in the first half. Sparta’s next opponents in the competition are the Polish side Poznan.
Slavia Prague football team’s modern Eden stadium has no building permission to host concerts according to the local council. The finding surfaced on Monday, a day before the stadium is due to host a concert by the American pop singer Pink. The council added the stadium did not meet the required noise regulations for concerts. It said it could not stop the event but could impose a fine. The owners of the stadium have contested the council’s interpretation saying that they are authorised to stage cultural events. Last year the stadium hosted a concert by Depeche Mode.
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