Football Association committee resigns over Chvalovsky affair

Frantisek Chvalovsky

On Tuesday, the executive committee of the Czech Football Association voted to resign en masse from their posts. This move comes after the arrest and detention of the association's president, Frantisek Chvalovksy, who is on remand pending trial for alleged fraud totalling around thirty million US dollars.

The Football Association committee has been under pressure ever since Mr. Chvalovsky was first arrested more than a month ago to either remove him from his post permanently, or at the very least to suspend him until after his trial. This pressure intensified after Mr. Chvalovsky, who was originally released on bail of ten million Czech crowns, was placed on remand in mid-March. Mr. Chvalovsky has now been in jail for two weeks, and, says the Football Association's press spokesman, Jaroslav Kolar, there have been calls from the ground up within the association for Mr. Chvalovsky to step down over the alleged fraud:

"The problem is that the position of the president of the Czech Football Association is not a private one, he is the leading man in Czech football. The people involved in Czech football, this means the people in small clubs, big clubs, in different regions believe that it is not possible for a man with a problem, not a football related problem, but a personal problem, to be in charge."

By resigning, the twelve members of the committee have made Mr. Chvalovsky's position as president of the Football Association pretty much untenable, and it is widely expected that he will be forced to follow suit. Frantisek Chvalovsky will be informed of the committee's decision by his lawyer, and then the rest is apparently up to him.

The case against Mr. Chvalovsky is a high profile one, as thirty million US dollars is a large sum of money, and there has been a great deal of speculation in the Czech press over the state of the Football Association and Czech football as a whole. But Jaroslav Kolar is convinced that things couldn't be better:

"Czech football does not suffer from any particular problems. I think that Czech football at this time is experiencing a very good era. For example, the Czech national team is playing very well, they have the chance to qualify for the World Cup. We have had great successes in youth football, with a silver medal from the European Championships. We have a big programme for youths and a big programme for the regions. I think that at this point Czech football is at a peak and that Czech football has never been in such a good position as it is now."