Without a doubt, football's biggest, most glamorous and exciting club event is the UEFA Champions League. The lucrative competition features many of the game's greatest stars, and is watched by millions around the globe. This season the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich could be joined by the tiny Czech club Mlada Boleslav: they've just reached the final qualifying round and are possibly just 180 minutes away from the big time - and big money.
In Sports News: as the new Czech football season begins Liberec make a great start while Sparta Prague stumble; ex-international Horst Siegl scores his 175th league goal at the age of 37; Czech players make a big impact on the opening weekend of the Scottish season; javelin legend Jan Zelezny may be 40 but he's still in with a chance of a medal at the European Championships; and Prague's Troja is gearing up for the water slalom world championships.
In Sports News: Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych is now ranked 14th in the world after reaching the semi-final of the Mercedes Open in Germany; ice hockey star Pavel Kubina is ordered to pay almost 18,000 dollars to a referee he accused of bribe-taking; football star Milan Baros apologises after appearing on tabloid front pages in a state of inebriation; Pavel Nedved is set to say whether he's staying at Juventus; and three Czechs are accused of throwing a game in the Turkish league for big money.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic's women's tennis players narrowly miss out on a place in the Federation Cup's elite World Group; Czech football stars playing in Italy face an uncertain future following the enforced relegation of top clubs from Serie A; Grand Prix motorcyclist Lukas Pesek enjoys another podium finish; and Speedway racer Ales Dryml remains in a critical condition following a horrific crash.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic takes two medals at the European Flatwater Championships in central Bohemia - canoeist Martin Doktor says the home crowd helped him reach the podium; tennis player Radek Stepanek is now in the world's top ten for the first time in his career; ice hockey star Martin Havlat joins the Chicago Blackhawks; and Milan Baros is said to be close to joining Hamburg.
Prague is currently hosting thousands of athletes—mostly gymnasts—who belong to the Sokol association, and they've descended on the Czech capital from various corners of the world. SOKOL—which means "falcon" in Czech—was first established in 1862, as part of the Czech national revival. Today, it has branches throughout the world, in many European countries as well as in Australia, Canada, and the United States.
In Sports News: after the country's early exit from football's World Cup, questions are being asked about the medical attention received by Czech players; the performance of manager Karel Bruckner is also in the spotlight, though he has provisionally agreed to stay on for another two years; Czech tennis number one Nicole Vaidisova is tipped to do well at Wimbledon, while the top-seeded Czech man, Tomas Berdych, is suffering from a back injury.
The Czech football team are on their way home from the World Cup in Germany, after going out in the group stage. There was great optimism here in the Czech Republic when they beat the USA in their opening game. Surely, people thought, they cannot fail to qualify for the knock-out stages. But fail they did, after losing to Ghana, and then being beaten by Italy in their final group game in Hamburg on Thursday afternoon. Where did it all go wrong for the Czech Republic?