Sports News

Slavomir Lener

Czech ice hockey coach Slavomir Lener has called up five uncapped players for a Euro Hockey Tour tournament in Helsinki next week. In tennis, Jiri Novak hopes to cap the best season of his career with an appearance at the Shanghai Masters, though his fate is not in his own hands. Tomas Rosicky has made headlines around Europe with his part in Dortmund's Champions League win over Arsenal and Zizkov have been beaten at home in the first leg of their UEFA Cup second round tie with Spain's Betis. All those stories and more are in Sports News.

Lener calls up five uncapped player for Helsinki tournament

Slavomir Lener
The Czech international ice hockey coach Slavomir Lener has made a few unexpected choices in his squad for next week's Karjala Cup in Helsinki, the second tournament of the Euro Hockey Tour. Five members of Lener's squad have received their first international call-up, including Josef Marha, who plays for Switzerland's Davos. Lener explains why he picked the latter.

"He's a top quality player who plays at a leading club in Switzerland. He has NHL experience. I've seen him play for Davos a couple of times and he played very well. He's a very versatile player and can play on the left or the right, or in the centre - I believe he'll help us."

Other players in the squad to face Finland, Russia and Sweden in Helsinki next week include Jan Caloun, who plays in the Finnish league and Trinec's Libor Prochazka, who was part of the team which won gold at the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998. The Czech Republic are second in the Euro Hockey Tour after the opening tournament, which took place in Moravia in early September.

Novak beaten at Paris Masters, Masters Cup fate out of his own hands

Jiri Novak's chances of crowning the best season of his career with an appearance at tennis's Masters Cup in Shanghai are now out of his own hands. Novak lost 1-6 3-6 to Andrei Pavel of Romania in the second round of the Paris Masters. The Czech no. 1 needs to stay in the top seven in the rankings, and now has to hope that the other players still battling for a place in Shanghai do not advance too far in Paris. They include Britain's Tim Henman, who knocked Czech Radek Stepanek out 6:1 7:5.

Rosicky helps Dortmund to place in second round of Champions League

The young Czech footballer Tomas Rosicky played a major part in Borrusia Dortmund's 2:1 home defeat of Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday. A quick free taken by Rosicky in the 38th minute - and meant for fellow Czech Jan Koller - was glanced into his own net by Arsenal's Silva. Rosicky then made sure of Dortmund's place in the next round of the Champions League when he converted a controversial penalty, which was awarded after Koller went down in the box.

Zizkov lose to Denilson goal in UEFA Cup third round first leg

After a convincing 4:0 win last Saturday over Czech league champions Liberec, Viktoria Zizkov were brought back to earth in football's UEFA Cup on Tuesday night, when they lost at home to Spain's Real Betis, the only goal of the game coming from Brazilian World Cup star Denilson. The three other Czech teams in the second round of the UEFA Cup play their first leg games on Thursday evening. Sparta Prague play host to Denzilipor of Turkey, Slavia visit Partizan Belgrade and Liberec are away to Ipswich.

Spartak Moscow bid to buy in bulk at Sparta Prague

There have been press reports that one of the biggest football clubs in Russia, Spartak Moscow, are interested in buying five players from their almost namesakes Sparta Prague. The Prague club has reportedly rejected the bid outright.