Czech stars under fire for partying ahead of key Euro qualifier

Czech stars under fire for partying ahead of key Euro qualifier
Vladimir Coufal is one of the sinners from Saturday night
Vladimir Coufal is one of the sinners from Saturday night
The Czech national football team has been the subject of huge criticism in recent weeks, which has grown many times over the day before the crucial Euro match against Moldova after members of the starting line-up Vladimir Coufal (31), Jan Kuchta (26) and Jakub Brabec (31) violated internal rules and left the national team meeting on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Czech team moved via Ostrava to the venue of the Olomouc match from Warsaw, where they drew 1-1 with Poland on Friday.

The team remained in second place in its group and only needs a draw with Moldova to participate in next year's championship. Brabec, Coufal and Kuchta were all in the starting line-up in Poland.

However, the trio of experienced players Brabec, Coufal and Kuchta went to the Belmondo nightclub in the evening, which the Sport daily documented in an article with photos.

They show, among others, Tomas Neumann, a member of the FACR executive committee and coach of the national futsal team. According to the outlet, the trio of players were also accompanied by former national team player and now Sigma Olomouc defender Filip Novak (33).

Coufal, from West Ham, and Brabec, from Aris Thessaloniki, are among the mainstays of the national team and, according to the number of starts, are the second and third most experienced players in coach Silhavy's current selection, behind captain Tomas Soucek.

Brabec has played 41 matches for the national team so far, while the same age Coufal has played one match less. Spartan Kuchta has 20 starts so far.

After the Poland game, Silhav7 criticized Coufal for not stopping the subsequent cross of Nicola Zalewski at the sideline before the goal.

The West Ham midfielder did not want to risk a third yellow card in qualifying, which would have cost him the game against Moldova.

The Czech coach will have to figure out who to replace his experienced players with. In particular, Coufal and Brabec have been steady in the starting eleven and Kuchta has been a regular recently.

Midfielder Antonin Barak was also dropped from the squad in June for allegedly violating internal team rules. However, his preparation was apparently a reaction to the fact that the Fiorentina midfielder did not take very well not being included in the starting line-up in the March qualifier at home against Poland, which they won 3-1.

The Czechs need a point against Moldova.

The misconduct of the trio of Brabec, Coufal and Kuchta is not the first similar affair with the Czech national team.

In April 2009, Tomas Ujfalusi, Milan Baros, Radoslav Kovac, Martin Fenin, Marek Matejovsky and Vaclav Sverkos were excluded from the national team. They spent the evening and night in a Prague restaurant after the 2-1 home defeat to Slovakia, which significantly reduced the team's chances of qualifying for the World Cup.

According to the tabloids, there were paid companions at the party, but the players resolutely denied this and called the press reports untrue. At the same time, they defended themselves by saying that it was after their team duties were over.

However, the severe punishment followed also because two years earlier the group led by Ujfalusi, after a 2-1 loss to Germany, had "relaxed" with their female companions in the now defunct Prague Hotel in the infamous room 433.

At that time the team was fined one million crowns.

After the punishment in the spring of 2009, all the players returned to the team except Ujfaluši, who himself retired from the national team before being dropped from the squad.


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