Sports News

Karel Poborsky (left), photo: CTK

Karel Poborsky scores the winning goal in his first game for Sparta Prague, as the new football season begins. But was he "the length of a cow" offside? Czech ice hockey fans will soon get a chance to see an icon up close - the NHL's Stanley Cup. And the Czech team for the European Athletics Championships in Munich has been announced. That's all in the Sports News.

Poborsky scores winner in Sparta debut as new season kicks off

Karel Poborsky (left), photo: CTK
After a break of just over two months, the new Czech football season kicked off on Wednesday afternoon, when Sparta Prague played host to Teplice. All eyes were on Sparta's Karel Poborsky, who is back in the Czech Republic after six years at various European clubs. The 30-year-old Czech international midfielder didn't disappoint, turning on the style and scoring the only goal of the game early in the second half.

Teplice coach Frantisek Cipro said after the game that Poborsky had been the length of a cow offside when he scored. Coincidentally the two are next door neighbours, and Cipro joked that after his goal he wouldn't be inviting Poborksy to any more barbecues. Teplice had to line up without fresh signing Karel Rada - the former Czech international's papers have yet to be processed.

And Sparta officials were taken by surprise by the high turnout for the game. When the 12,000 tickets they had printed ran out they had to let another 3,000 fans in for free. Attendance at Czech league games is usually in the low thousands.

Sparta favourites as Liberec play down talk of repeat championship win

The rest of the teams in the Czech league get back into action this weekend. Sparta, runners up last season, are favourites to win this time after a flurry of summer signings, including Poborsky - reportedly the best paid player in the league on a million crowns a month - and no-nonsense Slovak manager Josef Jarabinsky.

Last season's champions Liberec have lost several of their best players, and are talking down their chances of repeating their first ever league title. Meanwhile Slavia Prague - whose big summer signing was Radek Bejbl - are promising better things - the traditionally strong club came a poor fifth last season, and only a victory in the Czech cup saved their blushes.

Ice hockey's Stanley Cup to 'tour' Czech Republic

In the middle of August Czech ice hockey fans will get a rare opportunity to see one of the icons of the game up close - not a player but the top prize in the NHL, the Stanley Cup. The four Czech players who were part of the Detroit Red Wings side which won the cup last month will get to keep it for 24 hours each. All four players will hold celebrations with fans in their home towns, with retired goaltender Dominik Hasek's planned Pardubice bash expected to draw the biggest crowd.

Czech team announced for Munich European Athletics Championships

The Czech team has been announced for the European Athletics Championships, which get underway in Munich on August 6. Forty-one athletes will represent the Czech Republic in the most important meeting of the season. The only surprise in the selection is Jan Mazanec, who will replace the ill Pavel Svoboda in the 400 metres relay.