Measures against the spread of the virus are still not very busy, so the government is tightening more and more screws. It basically announced a ban on going out at night, closed shops on Sundays, and leads people to go home and back only from work.
And in this atmosphere, Milan Hnilička is trying to start playing the football league or hockey extra league in the country again. “When people have to sit at home, let them have something to look at, we are a nation of sports fans,” argues Hnilička. Of course, clubs need to play. Even without spectators. But they need to run at least for TV broadcasts and commercial contracts with sponsors.
However, Hniliček does not wish fate much. He had a meeting with the Minister of Health Roman Prymula last Friday, who apparently had already been “developed” to allow the restart of the mentioned competitions under conditions of strict continuous testing of football and hockey teams.
However, the meeting was ruined by the “Rio’s affair”, in which the daily Blesk caught the Minister of Prymul and the head of the parliamentary club, Jaroslav Faltýnek, coming out of a restaurant which, according to Prymul’s interpretation, was a private area of the Vyšehrad Chapter. In any case, Prymul’s position has been considerably questioned from that moment on.
“And now he has a little different worries and priorities than just sports,” Hnilička notes diplomatically. He therefore conducts ongoing negotiations with Chief Hygienist Jarmila Rážová. “I am also informing the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš about the situation and I am also talking about it with Mr. Prymula. But the numbers of the virus are now unfavorable, so they’re looking at it from a slightly different angle than we live in a sports bubble. Of course, we must also perceive the overall situation in the country and respect the government’s position, “Hnilička notes.
Nevertheless, he did not resign his efforts to at least partially restart the sport. He responds to the remark that we will probably not see any major changes by the weekend: “It’s only Tuesday.”
It is far from just about starting the top competitions in football and hockey again. “The pressure from this environment is, of course, strong, I have just received a letter from the captains of the extra-league teams. Everyone knows I’m a former hockey player, so of course it doesn’t leave me cold. But it’s not just about matches. We would need to significantly modify the existing limited conditions of the training process for many athletes. “
It is not possible to train in halls and enclosed spaces. “And we would need the Olympians in a number of industries to start preparing properly again. Running in nature is nice, but you can’t improvise indefinitely, “Hnilička knows well.
In recent days, the government has approved the COVID Sport 2 subsidy program, from which it will be possible to at least partially compensate for the damage caused to professional sports clubs due to the government’s epidemiological measures. The program is allocated 500 million crowns, but it is waiting for the European Commission to approve the necessary exceptions. We wrote about the program in great detail here.
The National Sports Agency also handles requests for exemptions that allow at least some sports matches or competitions to be held in the Czech Republic.
So far, this has concerned mainly the European Football League, the Octagon in the MMA and the WTA tennis tournament in Ostrava. “Now, in this respect, we are mainly working on the European Judo Championship, which has been awarded to Prague and has been moved several times. It is planned from November 19, we are doing our best to make it happen. In addition, we hear basketball or volleyball clubs that also want to play European cup competitions. We are working on it, “says Hnilička.
As for amateur competitions, the Football Association of the Czech Republic has already hoisted an imaginary black banner. And all competitions except I. and II. The league, which is managed by the League Football Association, was suspended until the end of the year. This means that since the third league, which will no longer be played this year, women’s or youth competitions have also been postponed to the spring. Similarly, the Mol Cup.
Due to the coronavirus situation, the FACR Executive Committee suspended all competitions from the third league below by the end of the year.
– Ondrej Novacek (@OndrejNovacek) October 27, 2020
The fact that the crisis in the post of Minister of Health will be resolved will probably play an important role in the negotiations on a possible restart of professional sports competitions. When it is clarified who will hold this position in the coming weeks and months, Hniliček will probably have a firmer ground and a more open space for negotiations.
The bosses of football Fortuna: The leagues do not seem to be counting on an ambitious plan to start the competition again this coming weekend. This is evidenced, among other things, by the fact that after the Berbr affair and the fall of the Chovanc Referees’ Committee, a temporary structure has not yet been appointed to manage and deploy judges in individual matches now.
The Executive Committee of the Football Association of the Czech Republic has made a commitment to appoint the trio by Monday, November 2. From this it can be concluded that the league has already given up the next weekend as the date of its restart and does not anticipate that it could start before 6 or 7 November. In any case, a representative break should follow.
Covid’s situation is bothering the whole of Europe, but professional football leagues are running in other countries. And the current Czech situation, ie the stopped league, disadvantages Czech cup representatives, who, with an exception, can only start in European League matches. And they lack match load and play-off from the national league competition.
For a similar reason, the Czech national hockey team will be composed exclusively of players in foreign leagues at the Karjala Cup tournament, when the fighters from the Czech extra league cannot even train properly. Some clubs go skating, for example, on the open ice rink in Dobříš. Their winter stadiums are closed.