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Goodbye Rada

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The feelings that many Czechs have recently had about the Czech national football team were the same as those about our political scene: When decisions on the most important things are taken by apparently bloodless, indifferent, but openly sly people, what else can we expect than that things would go wrong. It’s still true that the political scene is probably not going any time soon to offer anything that would please those who resignedly wave a hand. But when it comes to football, something started to change for the better on Wednesday.

For those unfamiliar with the situation: Nine months ago, Petr Rada became the new coach of the national team. An unimpressive football non-personality that got the job thanks to the fact that the wrangling leaders were able to agree on his name (the resemblance to the current search for a new prime minister is not purely coincidental). The performance of the national team did not improve after his arrival. It worsened, and even for those who are used to such fiascos as the defeat with Turkey at the last European championships, watching the once admired guys playing has turned into despair.

Rada’s position weakened only two weeks ago when his team suffered a tie with Slovenia, and was lost definitively after the subsequent loss to Slovakia at home. However, the question is whether he would not have stayed on his post after all if the players had not celebrated their failure to qualify to the world championships by setting off for a drinking spree with “female companion” and had not been caught by tabloid photographers. This was actually the main reason behind Rada’s dismissal on Wednesday.

And it wasn’t just him. Fired from the national team were also six players who took part in that night ride, including those without whom the national team is hard to imagine: Baroš and Ujfaluši. The team’s chance to qualify for the world championships has dropped to zero. On the other hand, only the biggest utopians could see the team playing in South Africa anyway, let alone what would the players do if they faced a really difficult team instead of Slovakia. I don’t wish Petr Čech such an experience, and I myself don’t wish it either.

The decision to dismiss the coach and the players was taken by the same people who contributed to the crisis in the national team. That’s annoying. But otherwise their decision is a good news. Now someone should join the team who will sweep out the old spider webs and use the remaining qualifiers to build a completely new squad. Again, the resemblance of this wish to the current political situation is not purely coincidental.

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