In Sports news today: Czech tennis superstars keep their world rankings ahead of the BNP Paribas Open; FC Viktoria Plzeň’s victory against Sparta sees both it and Liberec eyeing Sparta’s top spot in the Gambrinus Liga; HC Oceláři Třinec have to face PSG Zlín for a fifth time in the ice hockey Extraliga playoffs and Sýkora’s hopes of celebrating in style his 1000th professional match end in disappointment.
In Sports News: In football, Sparta Prague slip against Hradec Kralové while defending league champions Viktoria Plzeň draw with Dukla; Viktoria Plzeň’s 3:1 loss against Schalke 04 ends glorious European competition run; midfielder Tomáš Rosický ends a two-year scoring drought in the Premier League; and in hockey, Sparta Prague are crowned season champions.
Viktoria Plzeň lost 3:1 to the German Bundesliga side Schalke 04 after overtime in the best of 16 in the UEFA Europe League. The Czech team has failed to advance to the quarterfinals. A late equalizer from Viktoria Plzeň came at the 88th minute, when Czech midfielder František Rajtoral exploited a clearance attempt by Schalke to force overtime. Ahead of the defeat, Viktoria Plzeň was the only Czech club in the European competition. In December, the club lost to AC Milan, dropping out of the Champions League.
Soccer player David Bystroň, who currently plays defense for FC Viktoria Plzeň, has tested positive for doping and has been banned from playing for two years. The disciplinary committee of UEFA, the European football association, announced its decision to disqualify him from playing on Thursday. The 30-year-old soccer player had been tested at a November Champion’s League match; the blood sample was analyzed in January. Allegedly, traces of methamphetamine were found in his blood.
Sparta Prague’s deputy manager Lukáš Přibyl was found dead in the football club’s stadium on Thursday, the daily Právo writes on its website. According to the daily, police found the body of the 33-year-old man in his office on Thursday afternoon. He had a scalp laceration and bruises on his neck. Third-party violence cannot be ruled out, police said. Criminal investigators are currently at the scene of the incident. An autopsy will most likely reveal further details regarding the cause of his death, investigators said.
Czech football coach Vítězslav Lavička will leave the Australian club Sydney FC in February, after the end of the season. At a news conference on Friday, the 48-year-old coach said he reached an amicable agreement with the club’s management. Mr Lavička said he wanted to return to the Czech Republic where his family had been living for the past year. As Sydney FC head coach, Vítěszlav Lavička won the Australian league title in 2010, his first season with the club. He said he had so far not received any offers from Czech football although he is reportedly being eyed by Slavia Prague.
The Australian Open ended with mixed blessings for the Czech players, the happiest of whom was doubtless Radek Štěpánek. Unseeded Štěpánek and Leander Paes of India won the men’s doubles tournament, defeating the defending champions, the American Bryan twins, 7-6, 6-2. With that, Karviná native Štěpánek leapt forward 68 places in the rankings to world 23rd, two places behind his compatriot František Čermák.
Chelsea FC and Czech international Petr Čech has been voted the world’s fifth best goalkeeper by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. The 26-year old Čech, who won the poll in 2005, came in 3rd last year. In this year’s poll, Petr Čech finished fifth with 41 points after Iker Casillas from Real Madrid, Manuel Neuer from Bayern Munich, Victor Valdes from FC Barcelona and Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus.
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