Sports News

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After another defeat champions Sparta Prague are out of the race for the football league title, while Liberec are still on course to lift the trophy. In ice hockey, the Czech Republic have come last in the Euro Hockey Tour after losing all three games at the Karjala tournament in Finland. Those stories and more in Monday's Sports News.

Sparta Prague out of league race with three games left, Liberec still on course

There are still three games to go in the Czech football league and the race is by no means over. One thing however IS certain - Sparta Prague will not be making it six league titles in a row this year; it is now mathematically impossible for them to win the league after a 3:2 home defeat to Teplice on Saturday. It was a disastrous game for the champions and they missed two penalties. Sparta have only taken one point in the three games since they sacked popular coach Jaroslav Hrebik and those who feel he was hard done by may feel it serves the club right.

Few would now bet against Liberec winning the league title. Despite the absence of three key players, they beat Banik Ostrava 1:0 at home on Saturday. Liberec's Ghanaian striker Gyan Baffour got the only goal of the game just six minutes from the end; he later said it was the most important of his career.

Only Viktoria Zizkov can catch Liberec now - they were due to play Hradec Kralove at home on Monday evening.

Czech internationals making their mark on top European leagues

And the weekend saw a couple of Czech internationals making their mark on title chases in top European leagues. Tomas Rosicky scored his fourth of the season for Borussia Dortmund in a victory that left them just two points behind in the Bundesliga. And Czech captain Pavel Nedved got a rare but important goal for Juventus - he scored in the 88th minute against Piacenza, to put Juve just one point off the pace in Italy.

Two Czech international ice hockey teams in action, results mixed

This doesn't happen often - the Czech Republic had not one but two international ice hockey teams in action on Saturday. One of those teams was taking part in the Karjala tournament in Finland, the last part of the Euro Hockey Tour. The tournament was a wash-out for the Czech Republic - they lost to Sweden, Finland and Russia and came last in the four-country Euro Tour.

Jagr reluctant to pay $10,000 a day insurance during World Championships

The other game on Saturday was an away friendly against Germany, which the Czechs won 4:2. Captain Jaromir Jagr played in that match, despite the fact that if he'd been injured he stood to lose his $77 million contract with the Washington Capitals. The club have only allowed Jagr to play in the World Championships in Sweden on condition that he take out insurance himself. Jagr doesn't want to pay the $10,000 a day insurance fee - it now looks like the Czech ice hockey union will pick up the tab. The ice hockey World Championships get underway next weekend.