In Sports News this Monday: supporters continue to boycott the home games of Bohemians 1905 due to a new ground-share deal – player Lukáš Hartig says he hopes they come around; Milan Baroš signs a lucrative new deal with Galatasaray; Tomáš Berdych is now seventh in the world, his highest ranking to date; and ice hockey goalie Milan Hnilička retires at 37.
Many supporters of Prague side Bohemians 1905 are continuing to stay away from home games in protest at the fact the club has been forced to leave its traditional Ďolíček ground and share Slavia Prague’s nearby Eden stadium. The tiny Ďolíček was usually full, with gates of around 6,000. However, fewer than half that number saw Bohemians’ take three points at Eden for the first time on Saturday with a 1:0 win over Slovácko. Goalscorer Lukáš Hartig said he hoped fans would drop the boycott.
“We definitely miss the fans. I think if 12,000 people had come they would have enjoyed themselves. It was end to end stuff; there were inaccuracies, but both sides also had a lot of chances, and I think people would have enjoyed the game. We will have to hope that the fans change their minds and support us. We need them here, and I hope they realise that.”
Elsewhere, the big game in the Czech first division at the weekend was Sparta Prague’s 4:0 home demolition of traditional rivals Baník Ostrava. Olomouc, meanwhile, lead the table following a 3:0 win over Ústí nad Labem, though Viktoria Plzeň can go top if they beat Hradec Králové on Monday evening, after the recording of our show.
Meanwhile, Sparta have drawn the Slovak champions Žilina in the final qualification round for the Champions League, with the first leg taking place in the Czech capital next Tuesday. Žilina are managed by former Sparta player Pavel Hapal.
Milan Baroš has signed a contract extension at Galatasaray that will keep him at the Turkish club until 2013. Baroš’s agent, who also represents the likes of Tomáš Rosický, told the newspaper Sport that the 28-year-old striker had signed the most lucrative contract of any of his players. Baroš is currently injured, and therefore will miss an international friendly against Latvia in Liberec on Wednesday.
Despite exiting tennis’s Washington Classic at the quarter-finals stage last week, Tomáš Berdych has risen to seventh in the world, his highest ranking ever. The rangy 24-year-old reached his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon earlier this year. Only four Czech men have ever been higher in the ATP rankings. Ivan Lendl was at one time ranked first in the world, Petr Korda was second and both Jan Kodeš and Jiří Novák were fifth.
Ice hockey goaltender Milan Hnilička has announced his retirement at the age of 37. Hnilička won Olympic gold and three world championships with the Czech Republic, and played for several top clubs in the NHL and the Extraliga. He said an offer to join the management structure at Mladá Boleslav had convinced him the time was right to hang up his skates.