In Sports News this Monday: Football club Sparta manage only a draw against Baník; the Czech FA says it will clamp down on football hooligans; Chelsea crush Arsenal 6:0; will New Jersey deal Jágr?
League-leaders Sparta Prague stumbled at the weekend, earning only one point in a draw against opponents Baník Ostrava. Baník drew first blood in the match with a goal from David Škutka but Sparta levelled late in the second half. Substitute and rookie Lukáš Juliš scored the tying goal – his first for the club – squaring the game which was how it finished. Sparta remain eight points ahead of second-place Plzeň.
Plzeň were able to stay within reach of the leader, was a 2:1 win over Olomouc at the weekend. Plzeň came from behind to secure the crucial three-points. The season will see nine more rounds, meaning Plzeň could still give Sparta a race for the title. In other action, Slavia lost 2:1 against Jihlava and Slovácko routed Brno 5:0.
Around 30 alleged football “hooligans” were arrested before and during the Sparta-Ostrava match. Some Sparta fans were detained after arriving in Ostrava on Saturday afternoon after causing disorder on the train. The police said they had thrown fireworks out of the train and attacked police officers. Others, including a number of Baník Ostrava supporters from Poland, were arrested after violent clashes that erupted during the half-time break.
The head of the Czech FA, Miroslav Pelta, reacted by saying he would push for tougher measures to prevent violent and disorderly conduct. He pointed to the Netherlands’ system which requires identification for tickets bought, to root out individuals with past records. Since 2010, disorderly or violent fans risk, aside from criminal charges, ten-year bans from stadiums.
In the English Premier League, London club Arsenal will be looking to forget their match-up against Chelsea at the weekend. The match was coach Arsene Wenger’s 1,000 with the Gunners, but was spoiled by two early goals from Chelsea and the team was just getting started. The BBC noted the match could have gone differently if Chelsea goalie Petr Čech had failed to stop a low effort from Olivier Giroud, on a through-ball from midfielder Tomáš Rosický. The match ended a lopsided 6:0.
Trade rumors have begun to surface around Czech star Jaromír Jágr – on pace to hit 70 points this year in what has been dubbed a “renaissance” season. His team, the New Jersey Devils, is not nearly so well off – fighting for a spot in the playoffs. It’s no secret Jagr, 42, would like another shot at a Stanley Cup, after last coming close with Boston. News website iDnes quoted Jágr as saying he would consider options if the Devils failed to advance. At least one website suggests that more teams could be interested in the future hall-of-famer, speculating that the Montreal Canadiens (who showed interest in the past) were a possibility.
Women’s tennis player Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová was beaten in the third round by Ukrainian opponent Elina Svitolina at the Miami Masters. Záhlavová-Strýcová got off to a winning start, taking the first set, but fell badly behind in the 2nd (which she eventually lost) and was again heavily outplayed in the third. The final score was 6:4, 4:6, 6:1.