Sports News

Sparta-Slovacko, photo: CTK

In Sports News today: the new Czech football season began with poor performances by some of the league's top teams: Ostrava and Slavia were both beaten, while Sparta could only manage a draw; meanwhile, the bribery scandal engulfing the game is due to continue, with more arrests expected this week; canoeist Martin Doktor has taken his 70th (!) Czech national title, just days before the start of the Olympics, while Czech-born golfer Alex Cejka has narrowly missed out on his first PGA trophy.

Contenders get off to poor start as new football season kicks off

Ostrava-Teplice, photo: CTK
Champions Ostrava had a rough time at home against Teplice, going ahead after 20 minutes through a Miroslav Matusovic penalty but eventually losing 2:1. Banik manager Frantisek Komnacky was highly critical of his team after the game.

"The first half wasn't any good but at least we were leading. But in the second half our performance was just disgraceful. When the game started to turn against us after we conceded a poor goal our players didn't really fight much to get a better result."

Sparta-Slovacko, photo: CTK
Ostrava's main rivals for the title Sparta Prague may have signed a host of new players during the summer break, but they still couldn't beat lowly Slovacko. The team formerly known as Synot took the lead with a penalty at the start of the second half, before Sparta salvaged a point thanks to a header from Jiri Homola on 66 minutes.

Sparta will hope to do better on Wednesday, in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Ferencvaros of Hungary. Ostrava, meanwhile, face German side Leverkusen for a place in the lucrative competition.

And getting back to the Czech league, Slavia won't have silenced those who are writing the club off as a spent force, after losing 1:0 away to Zlin - that despite the fact the Moravian team were hit by a flu virus which left half their regular first team out of action; three of their players turned out despite having temperatures!

Referees working over-time as bribery scandal continues

Of course the main story in Czech football these days is the bribery scandal which has rocked the league to its foundations. With 16 referees charged with corruption on Thursday, the football association is having trouble finding enough officials for all fixtures; some refs will reportedly have to officiate at one game on Saturday and another on Sunday. More arrests are expected this week.

Canoeist Doktor wins at national championships ahead of Olympics

Martin Doktor, photo: Josef Doktor, CC BY-SA 3.0
The Olympics as you no doubt know start this Friday in Athens, and the Czech Republic has sent its biggest ever team to the games. Among the country's brightest hopes is canoeist Martin Doktor, who holds two gold medals from the Atlanta games. Doktor is in fine form these days, coming first in the 500 metres at the Czech national championships at the weekend. He also won in the 200 metres, which is not an Olympic event. It was his 70th national title.

Close but no trophy for Czech-born golfer Cejka

The Czech-born golfer Alexander Cejka has narrowly missed out on his first ever win on the PGA Tour, coming just two points behind the winner in the International at Castle Rock, Colorado. The 33-year-old Cejka, who was born in Marianske Lazne but is now a German citizen, came second to Australia's Rod Pampling.