The Czech national football team’s qualification run for the 2014 World Cup has left a lot to be desired. A loss against Denmark and draw with Bulgaria earlier made it far less likely the Czechs will make it to the tournament next year. On Friday, the squad faces its biggest challenge yet: Euro 2012 runners-up Italy. The Czech team effectively needs to win to keep its chances for next year alive.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech soccer’s first division set for cliff-hanger finale with Plzeň’s lead on Sparta down to two points with one game to go; Hradec Králové and České Budějovice relegated as Bohemians 1905 bounce straight back from second tier; and decathlon great Roman Šebrle may well have competed for last time.
One of the Czech Republic’s best known soccer clubs has just escaped bankruptcy and expulsion from the first division. In fact, for a brief period on Monday it appeared it really was curtains for Baník Ostrava. But how have the 2004 league champions found themselves in such dire straits? And what does the future hold for the club?
In Sports News this Monday: Zuzana Hejnová wins 400m hurdles at Diamond League meeting in Shanghai; Baník Ostrava football club come dangerously close to bankruptcy; Arsenal and Spurs said to be keen to snap up Czech striker Matěj Vydra; and Tomáš Berdych overcomes one bogeyman in Rome but can’t get past second.
Earlier this week, hockey fans hoped that the Czech national team had finally found its legs in a 7-0 drubbing of Norway. But that was as good as things would get. Although the Czechs avoided the embarrassment of an early exit and made the quarterfinal, they again faced tournament’s biggest surprise this year, the Swiss, and were defeated.
The organisers of a martial arts show in Prague have bowed to pressure from the media and sponsors and cancelled an appearance by a Hungarian fighter who’s covered from head to toe in Nazi tattoos. Attila Petrovszki, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Hungary, had been due to appear at the event - his tattoos covered in a T-shirt - on Friday; now organisers are looking for a replacement.
In Sports News this Monday: The Czech Republic just about hang on at Ice Hockey World Championship – and now need to beat Norway to reach playoffs; defeat for leaders Plzeň allows Sparta to cut gap to two points with three rounds to go in soccer league; Kweuke gets 12-match ban for leg-breaking “tackle”; and Nicholas Kemboi wins Prague Marathon.
If anybody was counting on Switzerland being an easy match-up at the Ice Hockey World Championships underway in Sweden they have since learned their lesson. The Swiss are the surprise of the tournament so far: first they upended hosts Sweden, then edged Canada, and on Monday added another scalp, defeating the Czechs.