Viktoria Plzeň lost 3:1 to the German Bundesliga side Schalke 04 after overtime in the best of 16 in the UEFA Europe League. The Czech team has failed to advance to the quarterfinals. A late equalizer from Viktoria Plzeň came at the 88th minute, when Czech midfielder František Rajtoral exploited a clearance attempt by Schalke to force overtime. Ahead of the defeat, Viktoria Plzeň was the only Czech club in the European competition. In December, the club lost to AC Milan, dropping out of the Champions League.
Sparta Prague’s deputy manager Lukáš Přibyl was found dead in the football club’s stadium on Thursday, the daily Právo writes on its website. According to the daily, police found the body of the 33-year-old man in his office on Thursday afternoon. He had a scalp laceration and bruises on his neck. Third-party violence cannot be ruled out, police said. Criminal investigators are currently at the scene of the incident. An autopsy will most likely reveal further details regarding the cause of his death, investigators said.
Soccer player David Bystroň, who currently plays defense for FC Viktoria Plzeň, has tested positive for doping and has been banned from playing for two years. The disciplinary committee of UEFA, the European football association, announced its decision to disqualify him from playing on Thursday. The 30-year-old soccer player had been tested at a November Champion’s League match; the blood sample was analyzed in January. Allegedly, traces of methamphetamine were found in his blood.
Czech football coach Vítězslav Lavička will leave the Australian club Sydney FC in February, after the end of the season. At a news conference on Friday, the 48-year-old coach said he reached an amicable agreement with the club’s management. Mr Lavička said he wanted to return to the Czech Republic where his family had been living for the past year. As Sydney FC head coach, Vítěszlav Lavička won the Australian league title in 2010, his first season with the club. He said he had so far not received any offers from Czech football although he is reportedly being eyed by Slavia Prague.
The Australian Open ended with mixed blessings for the Czech players, the happiest of whom was doubtless Radek Štěpánek. Unseeded Štěpánek and Leander Paes of India won the men’s doubles tournament, defeating the defending champions, the American Bryan twins, 7-6, 6-2. With that, Karviná native Štěpánek leapt forward 68 places in the rankings to world 23rd, two places behind his compatriot František Čermák.
Chelsea FC and Czech international Petr Čech has been voted the world’s fifth best goalkeeper by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. The 26-year old Čech, who won the poll in 2005, came in 3rd last year. In this year’s poll, Petr Čech finished fifth with 41 points after Iker Casillas from Real Madrid, Manuel Neuer from Bayern Munich, Victor Valdes from FC Barcelona and Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus.
Viktoria Plzeň defender Michal Bystroň reportedly tested positive for doping after his team’s game against Bate Borisov in the Champions League in November. The news agency ČTK reported on Thursday that representatives of the governing body of European football, UEFA, had informed the Czech club of the find, saying that prohibited synthetic stimulants had been found in Bystroň’s sample. Viktoria Plzeň asked for the analysis of the B sample; at the same time, the club complained about the allegedly unusual circumstances of the anti-doping control procedure after the game in Minsk which Plzeň won 1:0. If doping is confirmed, David Bystroň might be out of the game for the rest of the season; however, Viktoria Plzeň would most likely face no repercussions and would be allowed to continue in UEFA’s Europa League in the spring.
Czech football defender Tomáš Řepka quit Sparta Prague on Tuesday, after he agreed to prematurely terminate his contract in the club. The 37-year-old former Sparta captain will be a free agent since January; however, it is not clear if and where the defender will play after that. Tomáš Řepka played for a number of Czech clubs before spending three seasons in Italy’s Fiorentina and five years in the English club West Ham United. He returned to Sparta in 2006. Between 1993 and 2003, Řepka played 45 matches for the Czech national team but throughout his career, he has had disciplinary problems, often lacking self-control. He received a total of 18 red cards, and on one occasion attacked game officials and a TV crew.
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