Czech fans will be able to look forward to a number of clashes between Czech players in the next round of football’s Champions League, as decided in the team draw in Monaco on Thursday. Seven of 11 players on team rosters will be competing in Group F, which includes a match-up between FC Chelsea (who have goalkeeper Petr Čech) and Slovakia’s Žilina, which dispatched of Sparta Prague in the previous round. Tomáš Rosický of Arsenal will face his countryman Tomáš Hubschmann of Donetsk in Group H. AC Milan’s Marek Jankulowski can look forward to matches in the so-called ‘group of death’ which features Ajax Amsterdam, Real Madrid, and Auxerre, along with the Italian club.
Sparta Prague will face Tomáše Necid and his team CSKA Moscow, along with Italian side Palermo and Switzerland’s Lausanne in Group F of the Europa League. The draw took place in Monaco on Friday. The first match by Sparta will be on September 16 against Palermo. The last group game will be against Lausanne.
Czech league champions Sparta Prague have failed to qualify for the lucrative Champions League. On Wednesday night, Sparta failed to overcome a two goal deficit from the first leg and went down 0:1 against Slovak club Žilina. The Slovak club thus qualifies for the first time for Europe’s premiere club competition. On a miserable night Sparta missed a penalty and never really looked making a fight of the fixture. Pressure will mount on under siege Sparta manager Jozef Chovanec to resign.
Czech league champions Sparta Prague face an uphill battle to qualify for the group stage of the lucrative European Champions League on Wednesday night. Sparta travel to Slovak club Žilina where they have to overturn a 0:2 defeat from the first leg last week. Sparta should be helped by the return of star Ivory Coast striker Bony Wilfried but will be missing two other first team players who were yellow carded in the first leg.
In football, Czech manager Michal Bílek has named a near full strength squad for the first European Championship qualifier against Lithuania. The squad includes recently sidelined goalkeeper Petr Cech and striker Milan Baroš. The only major absence is injured defender Tomáš Sivok. The opening qualifier for the 2012 European Championships will be played in Olomouc on September 7.
In Sports News this week: Sweden’s Peter Hanson wins golf’s Czech Open; the Czech Under-21 baseball team wins the European title;in football, Sparta Prague lose to Žilina in the first leg of Champions League qualifier and fall to Plzeň in the top Czech division; and javelin champion Barbora Špotáková finishes second in the Diamond League event in Zurich but secures the series title.
The management of Sparta Prague football club have fined captain Tomáš Řepka in connection with an alleged drink driving incident. The sanction was imposed days after a Czech tabloid reported that Řepka had got into his car and driven home, despite being inebriated. Sparta refused to say how much the player was fined. Recently the former Czech international, who is known for being hot headed, was banned for three games for spitting at an opponent.
Viktoria Plzeň have maintained their lead in Czech football’s first division after a 1:0 win over Sparta Prague in the capital on Saturday evening, with the only goal of the game coming from Petr Jiráček on the hour mark. That result follows a defeat for Sparta in the Champions League in mid-week and puts more pressure on manager Jozef Chovanec, who has blamed the title-holders’ poor form on injury problems.
Tomáš Ujfaluši has ruled out returning to the Czech football squad. The defender, who is 32, captained the team before quitting international soccer after being criticised for going out drinking after a game. The Czechs’ team manager Vladimír Šmicer recently asked Ujfaluši to reconsider his decision to retire, and there were press reports that he could make a comeback. However, the Atletico Madrid player has scotched that suggestion, telling reporters he had not given the matter any thought. The Czech team have largely failed to impress since Michal Bílek was appointed trainer last October. Their campaign to reach the 2012 European Championship begins in a few weeks’ time.
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