Sports News

Petr Cech, photo: CTK

Netminder Cech undergoes operation for skull fracture; Czechs draw 1:1 against Ireland in Euro 2008 qualifier; Sparta third in domestic league; Vaidisova comes close but fails to reach final of Kremlin Cup; Czech authorities consider F1 circuit in Prague; Jagr, Havlat top players' point standings in NHL.

Cech undergoes surgery for skull fracture

Petr Cech,  photo: CTK
Chelsea netminder Petr Cech underwent surgery at the weekend after suffering a skull fracture in a match between his side Chelsea and Reading in the English Premiership. In the first minute of the match the 24-year-old Cech got the worst of an alarming collision with Reading footballer Stephen Hunt, in front of the goalkeeper's net. Cech managed to just crawl off the field and was taken immediately to hospital. On Sunday, following Cech's operation, Chelsea released information that the surgery had been "successful" but said it was too early to release a more accurate assessment of the player's condition. Earlier speculation over how long it will take for Petr Cech to recover suggested two or three months, but it has been suggested it could take as long as six. In addition to focusing on Cech seeing a full recovery, Chelsea will be asking the English FA to review the entire incident. The team's coach Jose Mourinho has expressed anger over Stephen Hunt's challenge, on Saturday calling it a "disgrace". But, Stephen Hunt has defended the collision as an accident, saying he did not attempt to deliberately injure the keeper.

Czech Republic draws 1:1 with Ireland in Euro qualifier

Jan Koller,  center left,  gets in a header against Ireland,  photo: CTK
Before Petr Cech's injury at the weekend, the Czech national side wrapped up autumn qualifying for the Euro 2008 football championship. They managed to eke out a 1:1 draw against Ireland last Wednesday. In the game the Czechs were arguably lucky to get off with a draw, although they didn't play poorly: it was just that Ireland were that much more the feistier and hungrier team, pressing the Czechs throughout, and going ahead in the 62nd minute on a goal by Kevin Kilbane. Luckily for the Czechs it took their squad just ninety seconds to bounce back. They did so through an atypical goal by the towering Jan Koller - a low drive as opposed to a header. The Czechs then hung on until the end of the match and now remain atop Group D standings one point ahead of Germany. Euro 2008 qualifying resumes next March.

Domestic league: Sparta in third place

Sparta Prague - Banik Ostrava,  photo: CTK
In domestic football, Sparta Prague blanked Banik Ostrava 3:0 at the weekend to remain in contention against league leaders Mlada Boleslav. Sparta are now in third place behind Slovan Liberec, trailing top spot by six points. As it is, Sparta could still reshuffle the cards at the top of the pack before the end of the autumn season. Sparta's Dosek and Matusovic put in particularly strong showings in their last match.

Vaidisova fails to reach final at Kremlin Cup

Nicole Vaidisova,  photo: CTK
Czech teenage tennis star Nicole Vaidisova - ranked 11th on the ATP - came close but failed to reach the finals of Moscow's Kremlin Cup which wrapped up at the weekend. Vaidisova, who heroically dispatched world number one Amelie Mauresmo in a three-setter in the quarterfinals, was stopped in the semis by Russian Nadia Petrova, making the finals an all-Russian affair. In the semis it came down to three sets again, but this time the Czech player failed in the tie-break. She lost that by a score of 7 - 3.

Prague considers building new F1 circuit

Fans of Formula 1 racing in the Czech Republic may soon have something to cheer about: Prague is reportedly considering building its own Formula 1 racing circuit designed by renowned F1 architect Hermmann Tilke, who designed tracks in Shanghai and Bahrain. If built, the Czech circuit would be located in the district of Prague 10. It has to be pointed out that the proposal, which includes areas for a new hotel and other infrastructure, is still in the very earliest planning stages. But, apparently the idea is being backed by Prague's Lord Mayor Pavel Bem. If approved, the project will be backed solely by private investors and will in no way impact historic parts of Prague, say sources. Even if it is built, an F1 circuit in Prague will far from guarantee a place on the prestigious F1 Grand Prix, which observers say is more likely to further expand in Asia. Prague's circuit, writes Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes, would be more likely to see A1 Grand Prix races or DTM.

Jagr, Havlat top NHL player points standings

Two Czech players lead in the NHL's players' point standings at ten points apiece: Chicago winger Martin Havlat and New York Rangers team captain Jaromir Jagr. In action on Saturday Jagr helped his team with two assists but it wasn't enough for the Rangers to pull through against the Buffalo Sabres, who won 7:4.