In Sports News this Monday: Good start to year for Czech women tennis players, with Šafářová, Siniaková and the Plíšková sisters all racking up wins in their first matches of 2017; Dakar Rally has 24 Czech participants; Slavia beat Sparta in annual old boys’ game; and Havlát to make dramatic return for Brno?
In football, Czech manager Ivan Hašek has signed a contract until the end of the season with Emirates Club, a team in the United Arab Emirates. Hašek was sacked as manager of rival club Al Fujairah in March. His new club is hovering just above the relegation zone. Hašek was formerly chairman of the Czech football association and coach for the national team.
The former coach of the Czech national team and of Viktoria Plzeň, Pavel Vrba, has quit his job as head coach of the Russian league side Anji, according to reports from the CTK agency citing those close to him. Vrba took the job at the end of the European Championships in June in which the Czech side failed to proceed from the group stage. Anji are currently in 11th place in the 16-club top league. The club announced a deal with a new owner, Osman Kadiev, on Wednesday in which he promised to take the club to new levels and develop football in Dagestan. It has 20 point, half the total of the league leader Spartak.
Czech football manager František Straka has a new managerial contract with the Egyptian club Ismaily. The contract with the mid-table first division club is for 18 months. Straka has been without a managerial job since being sacked by Slovak club Slovan Bratislava in October 2014. He previously managed a series of clubs, including Prague rivals Sparta and Slavia, and had a series of foreign engagements. He is known for his ebullient approach to the game and management.
In football, Sparta Prague have boosted their squad with the acquisition of Romanian defender Bogdan Vatajelu. The 23-year-old joins from the club Universitatae Craiova and has signed a three-and-a-half year contract. Local media reports said that Vatajelu was also a transfer target of Italian club Fiorentina. Vatajelu is a product of the Steaua Bucharest youth academy.
Czech footballer Petr Čech, who plays for London club Arsenal, has finished 11th on a list of 13 of the world's best goalkeepers, compiled annually by the IFFHS (International Football Federation History & Statistics). Germany's Manuel Neuer finished first for the fourth year in a row, with far more points than nearest competitor Gianluigi Buffon of Italy. Čech finished first on the list in 2005. Čech has faced Neuer on different occasions (with the national squad and former club), most famously in the 2012 Champions League final which came down to penalties between Neuer's club, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea.
David Holoubek is set to remain manager of Sparta Prague football club, despite formal shortcomings. In an interview with Czech Television on Monday, the 36-year-old said the only thing to be resolved was the “model” that he and the club would follow. Holoubek will not receive the trainer’s licence he requires for the post until May. Until then his assistant will lead the team on paper, as was the case during a recent Europa League game against Inter Milan. Meanwhile, Sparta have drawn Russia’s Rostov in the next round of that competition.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
Restaurant tells visitors to “clear their plates” or pay a 50 crown fine for wasting food
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’