Europe’s football governing body, UEFA on Wednesday banned Czech FA Cup winners Sigma Olomouc from participating in next season’s Europa League over the club’s involvement in a corruption scandal. The Czech football association fined Olomouc for allegedly bribing players from an opposing team to ensure a victory in the last round of the 2008-2009 season. The case is now being review by a court. It is not clear whether Olomouc will be replaced by another Czech team in the upcoming Europa League season.
The Czech Republic’s national football team defeated EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland in their last group-stage game on Saturday to surprisingly emerge as winners of Group A. After a disappointing start to the tournament against Russia, the Czech team gained momentum and beat both Greece and Poland, advancing to the quarter-finals where they’ll play Portugal on Thursday. But the injured Czech captain Tomáš Rosický’s participation in the game is uncertain.
The Czech Republic reached the Euro 2012 quarter-finals as Group A winners after beating Poland 1:0 in Wroclaw on Saturday. The Czechs withstood early Polish pressure and took the lead in the 72nd minute with a neat strike from Petr Jiráček which proved enough to seal the team’s advance. The victory puts the Czechs back in the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time since making it to the semi-finals in Euro 2004 when they lost to Greece.
Members of the Czech national football team expressed disappointment over some of their fans’ hostility towards team coach Michal Bílek and striker Milan Baroš, the news agency ČTK reported on Wednesday. Defender David Limberský said he didn’t understand why some fans whistled at the coach and the striker after Friday’s game against Russia as well as ahead of the game against Greece on Tuesday. Milan Baroš is one of the team’s most prolific strikes but he last scored last November against Liechtenstein. Many fans also dislike his frequent dives and discussions with the referees.
Medical tests on Wednesday confirmed that the Czech national team’s Petr Čech and Tomáš Rosický did not suffer serious injuries in last night’s game against Greece at the EURO 2012 tournament in Poland, and might be fit for Saturday’s match. The team captain, midfielder Tomáš Rosický retired at half time of the Czech side’s 2:1 win against Greece with an injury of his Achilles’ tendon while goalkeeper Petr Čech complained about problems with his shoulder joint. The Czech team’s doctor said chances were high of both players appearing in Saturday’s key game against the hosts Poland.
The Czech national football team rebounded on Tuesday from its opening loss at EURO 2012, by defeating opponents Greece. The squad got off to the best possible start: scoring two goals inside of six minutes. But a mistake by goalie Čech in the second half put Greece back in the game, and made this one closer than it should have been.
The Czech Republic’s national football team was soundly defeated by
Russia on Friday in the teams’ opening match at Euro 2012. The Russians
were dangerous throughout, building on precision passes and clever plays
that saw them routinely outpace the Czech defense. The Czechs played well
in patches, dominating, for example, in the opening 15 minutes. Still it
was Russia that scored twice in the first half.
The Czechs responded early in the second when Plašil sent a low ball to Václav Pilař who sidestepped Russia’s goalie and put the ball in the net. Soon afterwards, Rosický came close to getting an equalizer but Russian goalie Malafeev stopped his low shot. Russia then regained momentum and added two more to win 4:1.
Speaking on the Czech defeat against Russia in the first EURO 2012 championship game on Friday, national coach Michal Bílek said that of course, the Czech squad was very disappointed with their performance. However, he added, now was the time to show strength and character. The team still had a week to improve its standing in the competition. He said that he would analyze mistakes made in the first match; but then, it was time to move on.
In related news, retired international Pavel Nedvěd, a member of Czech national squads that finished second at Euro ‘96 and third at Euro 2004, will be one of many fans in Wroclaw cheering on the Czech team. The former player, a VIP guest, signed autographs for football fans in Poland, saying he had gladly accepted an invitation to attend. The legendary midfielder stressed, that he was staying out of the Czech team’s way ahead of the matches, not wanting to interfere. Asked by Czech news website idnes to name the country with the best chance of winning the tournament, the player named Germany, which he said boasted a new generation of exceptional players.
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