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Czech football rocked by prostitute scandal

Czech football was left reeling last week after the sacking, not only of under-performing coach Petr Rada, but also six senior players for allegedly cavorting with prostitutes after a recent World Cup qualifier -- something the Czech team have previous for.

Photographs of the players in company with several girls were published in two Czech tabloids after the Czech Republic's 2-1 home loss to Slovakia on April 1.

The scandal added to an upset caused by a lacklustre 0-0 away draw with Slovenia and the loss to the Slovaks, after which Rada fell out of favour with both media and fans as the national team are in fourth place in Group Three, trailing leaders Northern Ireland by five points.

The association, which fired the entire national team management, has not named a replacement for the 50-year-old Rada, who has won only two out of eight games since replacing Karel Bruckner after Euro 2008.

The sacked players are Atletico Madrid defender Tomas Ujfalusi, Galatasaray striker Milan Baros, West Ham defender Radoslav Kovac, Frankfurt striker Martin Fenin, Reading midfielder Marek Matejovsky and Sochaux striker Vaclav Sverkos.

The decision does not necessarily mean a lifetime ban for the players but Ujfalusi, who replaced injured Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky as the Czech Republic captain, is unlikely to reappear after he said he would end his international career over the scandal.

The 31-year-old said in a statement: "I give up playing for the national team based on the current situation in the Czech Football Association and in Czech media."


It is not the first time Ujfalusi has been in trouble for such antics.

Back in 2007, when they were in Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifying group, following a 2-1 loss to Germany, he and other Czech team-mates were fined after six prostitutes entered a hotel room on the team's fourth floor at about 5am.

Rosicky, Jan Polak, Marek Cech, Martin Jiranek and Ujfalusi were drinking amid loud music, celebrating Ujfalusi's 29th birthday.