Kudela Affair Leaves Its Mark But Czechs A Threat At Euro 2020
Muhammad Rameez 2 months ago Fri 04th June 2021 | 08:40 AM
Prague, June 4 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Jun, 2021 ) :When the Czech Republic begin their Euro 2020 bid against Scotland in Glasgow, many will pay a thought to a player who will not be on the pitch at all.
Sympathy for the player has since poured in from Czech players and fans alike.
Even the Czech president's office complained to UEFA, saying the punishment was too harsh.
Czech coach Jaroslav Silhavy left a spot open for his first-choice centre-back until the last moment.
"Hope dies last, in Ondrej's case we must use all possibilities," he said at a press conference as he revealed his squad.
But he has had to look elsewhere.
The former federation won the European Championship in 1976, while the Czechs were runners-up at Euro 96 in England and semi-finalists at Euro 2004 with teams featuring the likes of Pavel Nedved, Karel Poborsky and Vladimir Smicer.
The current team will rely on midfielder Tomas Soucek and defender Vladimir Coufal, key players in West Ham United's recent rise that led the London club to a surprising sixth spot in the Premier League this season.
Tomas Vaclik, who is leaving Sevilla this summer, will likely be the first-choice goalkeeper.
Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida, the captain, and Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick are other stalwarts in Silhavy's side, while 18-year-old Sparta Prague striker Adam Hlozek is a prodigy to watch.
Silhavy's side were due to be based in Edinburgh during the competition but the Scottish government's strict Covid-19 rules -- meaning the whole squad would have to go into quarantine if one positive case was detected -- forced a change of plan.
When announcing his squad, Silhavy said the postponement of the tournament by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic had been a good thing.
"The year helped everyone. We got to know more players. We also saw what they can do," said the 59-year-old, a tough defender in his own playing days.
"I'm convinced we've put together an interesting team that can go really far," he added.