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Zeman supports Sokol gathering at Prague stadium

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Prague, Nov 20 (CTK) – The national gathering of the Czech gymnastics movement Sokol will be held in the Eden Arena in Prague next July, President Milos Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said on Monday after Zeman’s meeting with Chinese football association chief Du Zhaocai.

Based on the president’s intercession, the Eden Arena will be provided for the 16th Sokol gathering, Ovcacek said.

This week, Du Zhaocai is to have talks with representatives of the Czech football association about possible mutual cooperation.

The Eden Arena is owned by CEFC China Energy Company Limited. The Chinese group also owns the Slavia Praha football club that plays the top Czech football league at this stadium. CEFC board chairman Ye Jianming is Zeman’s aide.

Sokol head Hana Mouckova told CTK that the movement has been negotiating about hiring the Eden Arena for the gathering since 2016 and it believes that the negotiations will be successfully completed soon. She said Zeman’s support played a key role in the owner’s approval.

Mouckova said the previous gathering held in 2012 also took place at Eden Arena.

The Sokol gathering will focus on the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of independent Czechoslovakia. The organisers expect up to 50,000 people to participate in the event on July 1-6.

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