Final Word from Monday, May 17, 2004

Things are going from bad to worse in Czech sports. First was the controversy surrounding the Kč 8bn monument to Sazka CEO Aleš Hušák, then came the untimely defeat of the hockey team in the world championships. And now, corruption in Czech soccer is in the news every day. Professional sports is all about money, but fans prefer to think it's about sportsmanship, fair play and team spirit. Some fans, such as Václav Havel, are getting offended by the over-commercialization. Speaking in Právo, Havel said that the ever-closer association of beer with soccer seems particularly absurd to him. He added that he was so turned off by the Škoda Auto ads during the hockey that he won't buy one of its cars. Without the sponsors, of course, there'd be no sports. Sometimes, though, a bit more sportsmanship, moderation and fair play would be good business. Gambrinus Arena


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